IVC Filter Migration

IVC Filter Migration
Retrievable IVC filters implanted in thousands of patients to reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism may be associated with high rates of filter migration. If an IVC filter or its components migrate, patients may experience perforation of the heart, embolization, and other life-threatening health consequences.

Did You Experience Migration of an IVC Filter? Legal Help is Available.

Patients who allegedly experienced complications related to IVC filter migration may be entitled to compensation from the device’s manufacturer. The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now evaluating legal claims on behalf of individuals who may have been harmed due to retrievable IVC filters manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc. and Cook Medical, including the:

For more information, please contact our office today at (888) 994-5118.

What is IVC Filter Migration

Retrievable IVC filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava to catch blood clots before they have a chance to become a pulmonary embolism in the lung. The above-mentioned Bard and Cook filters are meant to be retrieved once a patient is no longer at risk for this potentially-fatal event.

Migration is a rare, but potentially deadly, complication that sometimes occurs in patients treated with IVC filters. When it occurs, an entire filter might move to another part of the body, or components may migrate after the device fractures. In either case, patients experiencing this dangerous event might suffer:

  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Erosion into the wall of the inferior vena cava
  • Perforation of the inferior vena cava, heart, or lungs
  • Embolization
  • Death

Reports, Warnings for IVC Filter Migration

Since 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two medical device safety alerts regarding the risks associated with retrievable IVC filters. The first, which was released in August 2010, came after the agency had received 921 reports of complications involving the devices, including 328 reports of IVC filter migration. In an updated communication issued in May 2014, the FDA reminded doctors about the importance of retrieving IVC filters once the threat of pulmonary embolism has passed.

A number of studies have also raised concerns about the potential for IVC filters to migrate:

  • 2006: Surgeons writing in the Texas Heart Institute Journal cautioned that: “Migration of an IVC filter to the heart is a rare event that can result in massive pulmonary embolism.”
  • 2008: The Journal of Trauma reports on a 53-year-old man whose bicuspid valve was destroyed after an IVC filter migrated to his heart.
  • 2009: A study published in The Journal of Invasive Cardiology looks at more than two dozen cases of IVC filter migration, and concludes that newer retrievable IVC filters were significantly more likely to migrate to the heart than older implants. Possible consequences include ventricular arrhythmias, need for heart bypass surgery, and death.

IVC Filter Legal Reviews

The medical device attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are now investigating IVC filter migration claims and other personal injury cases related to these devices. To learn more, please call (888) 994-5118 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal review with our Firm today.

  1. FDA (2010) “Removing retrievable Interior Vena Cava Filters: Initial Communication” http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm221676.htm
  1. FDA (2014) “Removing retrievable Interior Vena Cava Filters: FDA Communication” http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm396377.htm
  2. Texas Heart Institute Journal (2006) “Acute Massive Pulmonary Embolism after Migration of an Inferior Vena Cava Filter to the Right Ventricle” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1764940/
  3. Journal of Trauma (2008) “Inferior vena cava filter migration to right ventricle with destruction of tricuspid valve: a case report.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18301223
  4. The Journal of Invasive Cardiology (2009) “Inferior Vena Cava Filter Migration: Updated Review and Case Presentation” http://www.invasivecardiology.com/articles/inferior-vena-cava-filter-migration%E2%80%88updated-review-and-case-presentation
Last Modified: February 24, 2016

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