IVC Filter Perforation

IVC Filter Perforation
IVC filter perforation reportedly affects around a quarter of the individuals who receive one of these devices. While not all perforations are dangerous, life-threatening complications can occur if an IVC filter punctures the inferior vena cava, aorta, or a vital organ.

Legal Help for Victims of IVC Filter Complications

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is accepting case inquiries from individuals who suffered perforations and other serious complications related to retrievable IVC filters manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc. and Cook Medical, Inc. If you are interested in filing an IVC filter lawsuit, please call (888) 994-5118 to contact our legal team today.

IVC Filter Litigation News

C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, two major manufacturers of IVC filters, have been named in dozens of lawsuit filed on behalf of patients who suffered perforations and other injuries due to the companies’ allegedly defective devices.

  • October 2014: Cook IVC filter lawsuits are consolidated in a federal multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana. By December 2015, the number of filings involving the company’s filters has grown to more than 150.
  • August 2015: Federally-filed Bard IVC filter lawsuits involving both the Recovery and G2 retrievable IVC filters have been centralized in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. By December 2015, the litigation had grown to include more than 60 cases, with new filings being reported in courts around the U.S. Read More
  • December 2015: A Mississippi lawsuit is filed on behalf of a Bard Eclipse IVC filter recipient who suffered perforation of his inferior vena cava, allegedly due to the filter’s defective design. Read More

IVC Filter Complications

IVC Filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava in people at risk for pulmonary embolism, a dangerous form of blood clot that blocks the pulmonary artery. These small, wire cage-like devices catch clots that have broken loose from the veins of the legs before they can travel to the lungs. Retrievable IVC filters are indicated for use in patients who can’t use standard blood thinning medications, and are intended to be removed from the body once the threat of pulmonary embolism has passed.

IVC filter perforations can occur if the inferior vena cava is punctured during insertion. But it is believed that most are the result of normal aortic pulsation and breathing, which may cause the gradual erosion of the filter into the wall of vena cava. Perforation of other blood vessels and vital organ can occur if the IVC filter fractures and the broken pieces travel to the heart, lungs, blood vessels, or other part of the body.

Symptoms of filter perforations include:

  • Chest Pain.
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Heart Rhythm Problems.
  • Neck Pain.
  • Confusion
  • Light headed
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of Breath.

FDA IVC Filter Warnings

Since 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two alerts regarding the risks associated with retrievable IVC filters. The first, which was released in August 2010, came after the agency had received more than 900 reports of complications involving the devices, including 70 reports of IVC filter perforation. 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.

Research on IVC Filter Perforation

  • 2002: Research published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery noted that the risk of erosion or perforation from an IVC filter “is estimated to be as much as 25%.”
  • 2012: A study published in The Korean Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery reported on a case of duodenal perforation caused by a remaining IVC filter. The study noted that filter leg peroration was a frequent complication, with some filters having perforation rates as high as 37%.
  • 2012: A case report appearing in the Annals of Vascular Surgery discussed an IVC filter patient who had suffered perforation of the aorta and duodenum.
  • 2012: Another paper in the Annals of Vascular Surgery estimated that IVC filter perforation occurs in 9-24% of cases.

IVC Filter Lawsuit Reviews

The medical device attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are now investigating IVC filter perforation claims and other 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
  2. FDA (2014) “Removing retrievable Interior Vena Cava Filters: FDA Communication” http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm396377.htm
  3. Journal of Vascular Surgery (2002) “Duodenal perforation with an inferior vena cava filter: an unusual cause of abdominal pain.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12021693
  4. Korean Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (2012) “Duodenal Perforation Caused by an Inferior Vena Cava Filter” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3283790/?tool=pubmed
  5. Annals of Vascular Surgery (2012) “Persistent abdominal pain caused by an inferior vena cava filter protruding into the duodenum and the aortic wall. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22627053
  6. Annals of Vascular Surgery (2012) “Endovascular treatment of late aortic perforation due to vena cava filter.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22717360
Last Modified: February 24, 2016

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