What is the Inferior Vena Cava?
The inferior vena cava is the body’s largest vein, transporting blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. There are two vena cava in the body – The other vena cava, the superior vena cava, takes blood from the head, the arms and other areas of the upper portion of the body.
When a blood clot is located in your arms, legs, or pelvic region, it is referred to as a DVT, or deep venous thrombosis. While a DVT is usually not life-threatening, it can be fatal if it travels to the lungs and becomes a PE that chokes off the blood supply. Hundreds of thousands of people die from this problem each year.
Implanted blood clot filters are supposed to help prevent pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and stroke. However, serious IVC filter complications like fracturing, infection, and migration of the filter or a fractured piece through the vein have caused many patients more suffering than they bargained for. Victims across the country have filed and are continuing to pursue IVC filter lawsuits against manufacturers like C.R. Bard.
What is an IVC Filter, and How Does it Work?
An IVC filter is a small device made of metal, typically implanted to provide temporary protection against a PE. Resembling a small cage, an IVC filter is designed to break up a blood clot before it can get into the lungs. There are five primary manufacturers of IVC filters: Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, Braun Medical and Cordis.
An IVC filter is typically inserted via a catheter into the inferior vena cava, usually through a small incision in the groin. Once the danger of blood clots has passed, the filter is usually removed through the use of a snare-like device that latches onto a hook at the end of the IVC filter. There are, however, some IVC filters that are designed to be permanently implanted in a patient.
There are two types of blood clot filters; permanent IVCs and temporary retrievable ones. Until 2002, Cook and Bard marketed filters as optionally retrievable. This means they could be used for either permanent or temporary implantation. If a patient faces a long-term threat from a PE, the filter will typically be permanent. If only short-term protection is needed, then a retrievable IVC filter will be used.
Doctors will usually only recommend the use of an IVC filter if a patient is not a candidate for blood-thinning medication. This could be due to an adverse reaction to blood thinners, a recent surgery or some sort of trauma.
Most Problematic IVC Filter Models
The blood clot filter models associated with the most complications and dangerous side effects include:
- G2 IVC Filter System by C.R. Bard
- Tulip IVC Filter by Cook Gunther
- C.R. Bard IVC Filter Cone Removal Kit
- G2X Retrievable Filter System by C.R. Bard
- C.R. Bard Simon Nitinol IVC Filter
- Meridian Filter by C.R. Bard
- Celect IVC Filter by Cook Medical
- Greenfield IVC Filter by Boston Scientific
- Denali Filter by C.R. Bard
4 of the 7 vena cava filters above are C.R. Bard products, so it’s no wonder that numerous Bard IVC filter lawsuit claims have been filed.
If you had a blood clot filter implanted in the last 15 years, there is a reasonable chance that one of these models were used. If you experience any symptoms of dangerous IVC filter complications like pain at the implant site, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, pain in your legs or chest, or signs of an infection like fever and weakness, contact your physician immediately to get checked out.