More and more people who have been harmed by the use of defective inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are making the decision to file an IVC filter lawsuit. These individuals who suffered IVC filter complications claim the medical devices have design defects and were not properly tested before going to market.
In just the last couple of months, hundreds of plaintiffs have added their names in two separate multi-district litigation (MDL) proceedings against IVC filter manufacturers C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, Inc. The patients in these IVC filter lawsuits claim that both companies failed to warn the general public about the potential health risks associated with Bard IVC filters and Cook IVC filters.
An IVC filter is a small, cone-shaped medical device that is inserted into the inferior vena cava, just below the kidneys. The inferior vena cava (vena cava is Latin for ‘hollow vein’) carries blood from the lower body up to the heart. IVC filters are designed to capture an embolism—or blood clot—that has broken away from one of the deep veins in the leg as it travels up to the heart and lungs.
The problem discussed in the IVC filter lawsuits is that the filters can detach and move within the inferior vena cava. This movement is called IVC filter migration and it is one of many IVC filter complications. An IVC filter can also break, allowing shards of the device to move through the inferior vena cava into other organs, most notably the heart. IVC filters were made to fulfill an important task, but a growing number of plaintiffs who have decided to join an IVC filter lawsuit claim that some filters have a higher risk of breaking, potentially causing life-threatening damage.
NBC Nightly News ran a two-part report on the C.R. Bard Recovery IVC filter. In its investigation, NBC found that 27 deaths and over 300 other adverse events within a span of 10 years had been linked to the Bard IVC filter.
NBC reported that the company hired a PR firm and conducted a confidential study in response to issues concerning the Bard Recovery IVC filter. The study found that the Bard IVC filter posed a significantly higher risk of death, filter movement, and filter fracture than other IVC filters on the market. Despite having knowledge of serious risks associated with its product, NBC found that the company continued to sell 34,000 Bard Recovery IVC filters before the model was replaced.
The Bard IVC filter model that replaced the Recovery, the G2 filter, reportedly had problems of its own. According to another NBC report, C.R. Bard became aware of problems related to the G2 not long after it was released but continued to sell the product, as well as a similar model called the G2 Express. In total, Bard sold over 160,000 G2 filters and G2 Express filters in the span of only a few years, this despite being aware of their problems, NBC reported.
Are IVC Filters Effective?
Researchers have been asking this question for years, and the answer may come as a surprise for some.
In 2013, the medical journal JAMA published an article entitled ‘The Inferior Vena Cava Filter: How Could a Medical Device Be So Well Accepted Without Any Evidence of Efficacy?’
The paper argued that the effectiveness of IVC filters had not been definitely proven by empirical studies. The authors could find only one randomized control trial of IVC filters, the PREPIC study published in 2005, which found that mortality rates were similar for patients who had been given an IVC filter versus those who hadn’t received a filter. The study did find one key difference among the patient population who received an IVC filter — patients had a higher rate of deep vein thrombosis after receiving an IVC filter compared to the patients who did not.
A recent IVC filter study echoed the findings published in the JAMA article. A 2015 study analyzed 803 patients who had been given IVC filters after suffering a traumatic event between 2010 and 2014. The patients who received an IVC filter saw no survival benefits, but they were more likely to suffer deep vein thrombosis events.
Join an IVC Filter Lawsuit
If you or a loved one have been injured by a Bard IVC filter or a Cook Celect IVC filter, it is in your best interest to consult with an IVC filter lawyer. You may be eligible to receive compensation by filing an IVC filter lawsuit. Even if you have yet to be adversely affected by a Bard IVC filter or a Cook Celect IVC filter, you are unquestionably facing the threat of being harmed should the device fail.
The personal injury attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have successfully represented thousands of victims who have been harmed by some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
If you would like to learn more about filing an IVC filter lawsuit, please give us a call at (855) 948-5098.