The capacity of blood to clot externally is a great gift to humans. Without it, we’d be at risk for uncontrollable hemorrhaging from simple cuts and other skin wounds.
Sadly, many people also suffer from medical conditions that put them at risk for internal blood clots. These clots can be killers – particularly if they lodge in organs like the lungs, the heart and the brain.
For these people, physicians have long prescribed drugs that “thin” the blood making it much less likely to clot. These thinners actually make the blood corpuscles “slippery” – and clumping together much less likely.
What about those individuals who can’t tolerate the drugs?
To address that issue – medical device engineers designed filters that can be installed in critical human blood vessels to capture wayward, migrating clots. Installed in tens of thousands of patients, these filters have now been in use since 1979.
There’s just one problem – one class of these filters – called a retrievable IVC filter – has a tendency to break apart and/or break loose from the vessel where they are temporarily anchored with dire – and sometimes fatal consequences.
The full name for this filter is “Inferior Vena Cava filter” (IVC for short) and it is implanted in the very large vein (the inferior vena cava) that carries blood back to the heart from the lower extremities.
IVC filters manufactured by C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, including Bard’s Recovery®, G2®, G2® Express (G2®X), Eclipse®, Meridian®, and Denali® Vena Cava Filters are particularly dangerous and have been known to break, leading to device migration through the body, embolization (movement of the entire filter or fracture fragments to the heart or lungs), perforation of the IVC vein, and deep vein thrombosis. They have also proven to be extremely difficult to remove – despite their official “retrievable” status.
In 2005, the FDA began receiving reports of adverse events from these filters (reports of harm done to patients). In 2010, the FDA began warning the medical community that these filters posed a significant risk to patients and recommended “that implanting physicians and clinicians responsible for the ongoing care of patients with retrievable IVC filters consider removing the filter as soon as protection from PE is no longer needed…”
In 2014, the FDA reissued their warning.
Were the manufacturers of these filters aware of the dangers? According to NBC News they were:
“Confidential company records obtained by NBC News show that New Jersey-based medical device giant C.R. Bard was concerned about reports of failures for its G2 series filters, designed to replace the company’s Recovery filter, within four months of being cleared to sell the G2 by the Food and Drug Administration.
But instead of recalling the G2 filter, and the virtually identical G2 Express, the medical device manufacturer decided to keep them on the market for five years, until 2010, selling more than 160,000 of them.”
So once again, we have a story of companies knowingly manufacturing and selling products known to harm consumers.
Our question continues to be why???
If you or a loved one have an IVC filter and are concerned about the dangers and side effects, you may have a potential claim and should consider calling a qualified Connecticut product liability lawyer. A knowledgeable product liability attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of medical product liability cases over our more than 60 years serving the people of Connecticut.
What’s more, the Hartford law firm of RisCassi & Davis has been named a Top 50 law firm in the field by the National Law Journal (the only Connecticut law firm to be recognized) and is “Top Listed” in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® with the most listed attorneys representing injury victims in personal injury law in the region. The firm is also ranked a Tier 1 law firm in Hartford in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.”
We have a great team of legal experts dedicated to patients harmed by IVC filters in Connecticut. Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.