What is an IVC Filter?


What is an IVC Filter?

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Defective Medical Devices attorney. When patients need the assistance of a medical professional, they typically turn to a physician for help. While patients expect physicians to have the answers, cure their diseases, and repair their injuries, sometimes the healthcare field falls short. One of these cases emerged recently regarding IVC Filters.

An Overview of IVC Filters

IVC filters, along with anticoagulants, have been around for years and have been used effectively to help people who struggle with blood clots. Standing for inferior vena cava, these filters are deployed in the inferior vena cava to catch clots that may have broken off from elsewhere and threaten the rest of the body. The inferior vena cava is the largest vein in the body and delivers deoxygenated blood from the body back to the heart before it travels to the lungs to receive more oxygen. A blood clot can sometimes travel from elsewhere in the body through the vena cava before lodging somewhere else in the body. The goal of the IVC blood clot filter is to catch these clots before they cause life-threatening situations.

Where do these Blood Clots Come From?

Some patients may be surprised to hear that blood clots can move from place to place. One of the most common places these clots develop is in the legs, known as a deep vein thrombosis. These blood clots can develop in people who are stationary for extended periods of time or those who are genetically predisposed to developing clots. When people move or suffer extremity trauma, these clots can dislodge from the deep veins in the leg and travel up towards the inferior vena cava. If the filter isn’t in place to catch these clots, the clots can travel through the heart and lodge in the coronary arteries (causing a heart attack), the pulmonary arteries (causing a pulmonary embolism), or the brain (causing a stroke). All of these are potentially life-threatening conditions that can develop from a blood clot.

Why have IVC Filters Been Criticized?

There have been significant problems with the IVC filter that some patients have suffered from, potentially leading to products liability cases. The IVC filter is made out of metal and has the potential to degrade or fall apart. Because the IVC filter is deployed in the blood vessels, these metal fragments can break apart and act like shrapnel in one of the largest blood vessels in the body. If these fragments puncture the inferior vena cava, they can cause severe bleeding that could potentially lead to a wrongful death. These metal fragments could also move to other organs in the body, causing chest trauma or abdominal trauma.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Defective Medical Devices attorney. If you, or someone you know has been injured by an IVC filter, please contact me at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. I maintain a toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.

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