The inferior vena cava is a major vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body into the heart. When blood clots develop in the veins in the legs, there is a danger that those blood clots will travel to the heart or lungs, causing severe health complications or death. A medical device called an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter can be implanted in the inferior vena cava in order to trap blood clots and prevent them from moving to the heart or lungs. There are both permanent and retrievable IVC filters. Retrievable IVC filters are designed to be removed when the risk of pulmonary embolism has passed. However, some retrievable filters are not able to be retrieved, and they are left in the patients’ bodies. Retrievable IVC filters are implanted in thousands of patients each year, and patients are not always warned by their doctors about the risk of injury that is associated with the IVC filters.
As with any medical device, there are risks associated with retrievable IVC filters. One filter in particular, the Bard Eclipse inferior vena cava (IVC) blood clot filter, has been the subject of personal injury lawsuits by patients who were injured by the devices. The Bard Eclipse IVC filter is a retrievable filter made of thin metal wires that are arranged in a cone shape. Sometimes, the wires break off or the filter tilts inside of the vein, creating a risk that part of the filter will cause an embolism or that part of the filter will perforate the vein.
Medical device experts say that since the retrievable IVC filters are designed to be temporary, they are not designed to remain in the body for extended periods of time. The failure rate for retrievable IVC filters is high. In fact, since every retrievable IVC filter will eventually fail if it is not retrieved, it can be said that the failure rate is one hundred percent. This means that for each patient who is implanted with a retrievable IVC filter that is not removed from the body, the question is not whether the filter will fail, but when.
One Mississippi plaintiff was injured when his Bard Eclipse IVC became tilted. The filter perforated his inferior vena cava, and doctors could not remove it from his body. Unfortunately, he is one of thousands of patients who have been injured by IVC filters. Litigation involving these filters is on the rise, and some cases have already been set for bellwether trials.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Supporting Mississippi Product Liability Plaintiffs
If you have been injured by a medical product like the Bard Eclipse IVC filter described above or some other medical device, you may be able to recover for the damages that you have suffered. If you have questions about injuries caused by medical products, the Mississippi Product Liability Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.