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The attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are pursuing IVC filter lawsuits for individuals who have experienced device migration, device perforation, device fractures, blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, infections, and death.
The inferior vena cava filter, or IVC filter, is a small metal device that looks to some like the ribs of an umbrella and to others something like a spider. It’s meant to be inserted into the inferior vena cava, where it is positioned to catch any blood clots that might free themselves from a patient’s veins and arteries to prevent them from reaching the heart and lungs, thus leading to a pulmonary embolism (PE).
Between 2005 and 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received over 920 cases of adverse event reports involving IVC filters. In August 2010, an initial communication issued by the FDA announced that, among those cases, there were:
These problems exist for all IVC filters, but some manufacturers have come under additional fire for selling devices they knew to be less safe. One manufacturer put a new model on the market in 2002 and immediately saw death and injury reports rise, yet they continued to sell the product until 2010.
Finally, after published research and various studies of IVC filters began to roll out, the FDA issued an updated safety communication in 2014 warning doctors that they should consider removing IVC filters as soon as they were no longer required. In addition to becoming less effective over time, when they are left inside a patient the devices can move, break, puncture blood vessels, and actually contribute to the embolisms they are meant to prevent.
IVC lawsuits against C.R. Bard and Cook Medical—manufacturers of various types of IVC filters—have soared since 2012. Allegations against filter manufacturers claim that Bard and Cook are responsible for negligence, knowingly manufacturing a defective product, and continuing to sell IVC filters without warning the public or the medical community of its risks.
Many lawsuits have now been filed over IVC filters, with a majority of them targeting the two manufacturers. Nearly 300 complaints have been combined from 11 districts in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Cook, which is expected to begin in Indiana federal court in late 2016. Another 200 or more suits against Bard are moving toward trial in a separate MDL action in Arizona. As of November 2016, there are over 1,000 pending IVC lawsuits in the MDL.
There are six devices in particular that stand at the focal point of IVC lawsuits across the country:
At least 12 deaths have been linked to G2 series filters in particular, and 27 deaths have been confirmed in total.
A major problem with IVC filters is that they were designed to be a temporary solution for at-risk patients (e.g., those who have just had a stroke or undergone surgery). The idea was that they would be inserted while the risk of PE to a patient was great and then removed a short time later.
In one study, it was found that doctors made plans to remove the device from less than one-third of patients undergoing the procedure. Some of those plans were not followed up, and even for those with a planned removal, more than 25 percent of the devices could not be safely retrieved. This “temporary” device became permanent in more than 80 percent of the patients studied.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a defective IVC filter, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Defective Medical Devices Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.