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What an IVC Filter Fracture Can Do to the Body
An IVC filter fracture can wreak havoc on a patient’s body, with metal pieces lodging into organs such as the kidneys, lungs and even the heart. In many instances, doctors will decide that trying to remove filter fragments is simply too dangerous, and as a result, the only alternative is to let those fragments remain lodged in whatever organ it perforated.
Problems With C.R. Bard IVC Filters
Researchers have found problems with various IVC filters manufactured by several companies. For example, a study showed that C.R. Bard’s Recovery IVC filter had a fracture rate of 40 percent. This model was discontinued by Bard in 2005, re-designed and then re-branded as the G2. The G2 was supposed to be less likely to fracture or migrate to other areas of the body. However, while the fracture rate improved, according to this study it was still a troubling 12 percent.
When an IVC filter fractures, the separated piece or pieces travel through the bloodstream, an event known as a device embolism. In some instances, the device can shift instead of fracturing, causing an obstruction and reducing blood flow. IVC filters can also erode inside the body.
Another serious complication of an IVC filter fracture is the buildup of fluid around the heart, which can compress the organ and reduce its ability to pump properly. Further, most IVC filters are designed to be removed, but sometimes it is unsafe to do so for a variety of reasons. Either the filter migrates to an abnormal position, perforates an organ, or becomes embedded somewhere in the body where it becomes more life-threatening to remove the filter than to leave it in the painful location it migrated to.