IVC filters certainly serve a purpose and are a critical tool for many who need medical care. Unfortunately, they’re overuse and misuse by doctors has led many patients to require more medical care than if they had used an alternative to an IVC filter.
So, when do you really need an IVC filter, and when should you pursue other options? Your doctor or medical team can help you understand your exact situation and guide you through making educated medical decisions. To get you started with some information regarding IVC filters and the common use and misuse of such devices, you should contact our experienced mass tort attorneys.
What is Acute Pulmonary Embolism?
Responsible for about 300,000 deaths each year, an acute pulmonary embolism is the result of a life-threatening deep vein thrombosis traveling to the lungs and causing a blockage. This is the life-threatening situation that leads most doctors to suggest and use an IVC filter.
Doctors will use either permanent or retrievable filters in an effort to catch blood clots prior to making their way to the lungs, heart, or brain. However, both filters have been known to cause complications for the patient further down the road.
The Real Intent for Modern IVC Filters
Unlike IVC filters of the past modern filters are meant to be removed after a certain amount of time period the filtration device is placed in the inferior vena cava or the large Vein that runs blood from the bottom half of the body to the heart. That placement is where these filters have the best chance of capturing clots before they cause an embolism or a blockage.
The placement often goes as planned; however, the trouble starts when retrieval or removal is not done. Most modern IVC filters are meant to be removed from the body after the threat of embolism is gone. The ideal time frame for that is fewer than six months after the initial surgery for insertion. The idea is that after removing the IVC filter, any recurring deep vein thrombosis or blood clots could be treated with blood thinners.
The most common complication with IVC filters is migration or movement. It is possible and common for these IVC filters to move. They may work themselves out of the primary vein, and even travel into the heart and lungs the very organs which they are meant to protect.
FDA Concerns and Statements
Even the FDA has explicit concerns about the use of IVC filters. The primary issue is that usage has increased exponentially over the last 30 years in lieu of alternative methods that may be safer for the patient.
The FDA notes that filter fracture, filter embolization, filter migration, and filter perforation are as serious in risk as deep vein thrombosis. It is a situation where the cure may cause more damage to the patient than the initial ailment.
What Should You Do When You Have Had IVC Complications?
If you had an IVC filter in place for more than six months, then you should begin talking to your medical team about having it removed or moving to an alternative method to treat deep vein thrombosis. The complications that can come with these filters may not show any symptoms before they cause substantial internal damage. However, early signs that a filter is migrating or has perforated the vein Include abdominal pain and muscle cramping.
If you notice these signs and have an IVC filter, then you should arrange with your doctor to have it removed as soon as possible. It is possible for the filter to not only move outside of the vein but to flow through the vein into the heart, or lungs causing an embolism.
Contacting Rueb Stoller Daniel for A San Diego IVC Filter Attorney
When looking for support after experiencing extensive issues away in IVC filter, contact Rueb Stoller Daniel. We understand that you were initially informed that the filter would come out after a period of time, and then that never seemed to happen. The problem often isn’t with the medical professionals involved; it’s with the system. Even people working within the medical field have trouble finding someone to remove a filter because people don’t seem to know how to do it.
Yes, it is possible that this filter saved your life at one point in time. However, that doesn’t undo the fact that you have lived and suffered from this pain For months, if not years. The migration of the IVC filter may have caused other health complications that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.