IVC Filter Complications | The Gori Law Firm
The Gori Law Firm

IVC Filter Complications


Bard IVC Several medical device companies manufacture IVC filters. The two largest manufacturers of retrievable filters in the space by market share are C.R. Bard and Cook Medical. Since 2003, Bard and Cook have developed and released several different models into the market.

C.R. Bard Models

  • Bard Recovery IVC Filter
  • Bard G2
  • Bard G2 Express
  • Eclipse
  • Meridian
  • Denali

According to the FDA Database, data available from 2004-2008 showed that Bard IVC filters consistently accounted for at least half of all adverse events.

Cook Medical Models

  • Gunther Tulip Vena Cava Filter
  • Gunther Tulip Mreye
  • Cook Celect Vena Cava Filter
  • Cool Celect Platinum

Other manufactures that produce or have produced IVC filters include Johnson & Johnson, ALN, B. Braun, Rafael Medical, Rex Medical, and Boston Scientific. Boston Scientific’s Greenfield IVC filter is designed to be implanted permanently and has been on the market for almost 30 years.

IVC Filter Malfunctions

IVC Filters can be inserted either temporarily (retrievable) or permanently. They are small, pronged metal devices that are implanted into the IVC. The legs or “struts” of the device (see image) are designed to affix to the interior walls of the IVC so that the filter stays securely in one place. In August 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Safety Communication in which they warned that when the retrievable IVC filter is not removed from the patient in a timely fashion, the struts become more susceptible to fracture. When fractured, pieces of the filter become free to move through the blood vessels. The filters themselves can also migrate from their original placement without fracturing if the device is not properly secured within the IVC. Both fracture and migration can result in the following serious complications:

A fractured fragment of the filter lodges in a smaller blood vessel causing a blockage. One of the main purposes of the IVC filter is to catch clots before they reach the lungs to avoid a pulmonary embolism. When a filter malfunctions it can cause the very ailment that it was put in place to prevent.
Blood Vessel Perforation:
In cases of migration, there is a very high incidence of the IVC filter penetrating the wall of the IVC which can result in serious bleeding. Perforation and rupture are also risks during retrieval of the filter. In cases of fracture, as a fractured strut travels through the circulatory system, the edges can perforate blood vessels including the aorta and vena cava also causing internal bleeding.
Organ Perforation and Damage:
In the same way the fractured filter strut can perforate a blood vessel, when the strut is able to reach the heart, lungs or other major organs they can cause perforation in those organs. This serious complication may require surgery to remove the strut from the body and repair damaged tissue. There are also known instances of the entire filter migrating to the heart which can cause a heart attack. In such extreme cases, emergency surgery is necessary to safely remove the migrated filter.

We are currently investigating reports of injuries or serious complications related to the migration and/or fracture of implanted IVC filters. IVC filters are implanted in the IVC to prevent blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs. According to documented reports, patients have experienced serious complications when the metal filter fractures or migrates from its original position in the IVC. If you or a loved one has experienced injuries or complications following implantation of an IVC filter, please send us your contact information and we will respond promptly.

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Please fill in the form below to request a FREE case evaluation from one of our attorneys if you or someone you know suffered an embolism, organ or blood vessel perforation, heart attack or other serious complication due to a migrated or faulty IVC filter.

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