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Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Defective Medical Devices > IVC Filter Complications and What That Means For You

IVC Filter Complications and What That Means For You


Undergoing a medical procedure is frightening. You are suddenly left relying your physicians and medical team to perform the necessary procedures to help you heal and not be sick or injured anymore. You might be concerned with a surgeon or nurse making a mistake, but what if there is something wrong with the device being placed into your body? Defective medical devices can cause catastrophic damage to your body. To be sure, there have been numerous complications involving the inferior vena cava (IVC) filter.

The IVC is a major vein of the circulatory system. Blood from the legs, feet, abdominal organs, and pelvis travels through the vein to empty into the heart. An IVC filter is a medical device that is used in patients who are at risk for a blood clot in the lungs. These are small, cage-like medical devices with “legs” are supposed to prevent a blood clot from traveling elsewhere in the body, like anywhere in the lower body or heart. As useful as these medical devices have proven to be, there are even more dangerous complications associated with them.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) sent letters to various manufacturers, like C.R. Bard, informing them that the IVC filters were not up to FDA standards. Bard, and other manufacturers, are targets of various lawsuits because of complications with the IVC filters. The FDA received many reports of complications from placing the IVC filters since 2005. There were complaints that the parts of the filter were breaking, piercing veins. Other reports indicated these pieces that broke off traveled to the heart, lungs, and other vital organs. Needless to say, a broken medical device in the body can cause serious injury or even death.


There are four common complications arising from the IVC filter malfunctions.

  1. Migrating Complications: There have been reports that the IVC filter is detaching from its initial implant position and traveling to different parts of the body. A study by the FDA found that 328 of 900 reported IVC complications were because of migrating parts.

  2. Fracturing and Embolization Complications: As discussed previously, there are many reports of the IVC filter breaking.

  3. Tilting Complications: There have been numerous reports of filter “tilting.” When a filter tilts, it moves from its original vertical position to a more horizontal position.

  4. Penetration/Perforation Complications: If the IVC filter pierces the vena cava wall, this can cause other organs to be harmed.

What if I’ve been injured by the IVC filter?

If you or a loved one has had complications because of a faulty IVC filter, you have options. First and foremost, you need to visit a physician to correct and medical issues or diagnose problems. Next, contact an attorney. The experienced Florida attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez, are capable of representing you throughout an entire case. Our attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and skills to negotiate settlements and take your case all the way to trial, if needed. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on receiving compensation for the faulty device.


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