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IVC Filters 101: What You Need to Know About Potentially Dangerous IVC Filters
There is a little known medical device that is on the market that everyone should be aware of. It’s called an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter) and it’s a type of vascular (vein) filter that is typically implanted by vascular surgeons or interventional radiologists in the vena cava, one of the largest veins that carries blood to the heart, to help prevent life-threatening DVT (deep vein thrombosis) from turning into PE (pulmonary embolism). In addition, IVC filters may be implanted in patients because of a traumatic injury or surgery.
IVC filters in no way prevent blood clots from forming. Instead, they work to help prevent existing blood clots from reaching the heart. However, IVC filters may also come with a number of associated complications that are terrifying, such as death, perforation and even relocation of the vessel itself.
Here’s what you need to know about IVC filters and their hidden dangers:
- IVC filters tend to only be recommended in very severe cases where blood thinners are not an option, such as when patients suffer from recent surgery, trauma or from an adverse reaction to blood thinners. That being said, occasionally, patients may be prescribed blood thinners in conjunction with the placement of the IVC filter.
- IVC Filters are manufactured by several pharmaceutical companies, including: Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, Braun Medical and Cordis.
- There are two types of IVC filters: Permanent and temporary (or “retrievable”). Both types of IVC filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava vein, right below the kidneys.
- Most patients who were implanted with IVC filters are not aware of what IVC filter they were implanted with, and that’s okay. However, it appears as if some IVC filters may be more dangerous than others, largely due to the pharmaceutical companies’ failure to disclose this information.
- Some patients who were implanted with IVC filters were told the filter could not be removed, even when it was causing serious health complications. Again, this may be due to ineffective disclosures of relevant information on the part of the pharmaceutical companies themselves — and if this happened to you, you may have a potential IVC filter lawsuit.