Study: IVC Filters Don’t Save Trauma Victims’ Lives
According to a recent study, patients who survive at least 24 hours after a traumatic injury are not any more likely to live if they are implanted with an IVC filter. The results of the study add credence to the belief that IVC filters should not be used in trauma patients.
A Need to Re-Examine IVC Filter Use
An IVC filter is a metal device that appears similar in shape to a spider. It is implanted near the groin and designed to catch blood clots before they can travel from the legs to the lungs.
According to the study, which was published in JAMA Surgery, IVC filter use did not result in a decrease in the death rate of people who suffered severe trauma. The authors recommend that trauma patients should not receive IVC filters, since the devices do not help improve survival rates and they are typically not removed. The study showed that, even nearly four years after implantation, only 8 percent of filters are actually taken out.
Many healthcare professionals believe that IVC filters should be removed in non-trauma patients as soon as a patient’s risk of suffering a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis passes. If the device is not taken out, the chances of complications can often increase.
These complications are very serious and can potentially be fatal. IVC filters have been known to fracture, sending pieces of metal throughout the body that can often impale major organs such as the liver, heart and kidneys. In several instances, doctors have chosen not to remove the parts, fearing that surgery would be too dangerous.