The inferior vena cava1 (or IVC) is a large vein in the abdomen. Blood returns from the lower body to the heart via the inferior vena cava. Some patients are at risk for deep vein thrombosis, where blood clots form in the leg or pelvis. If these clots break up, pieces may travel to the lungs and heart. If this happens, the patient may suffer severe complications or even die. For patients at risk, physicians may place an IVC filter.
How IVC filters work
An IVC filter is a tiny clawlike device. Physicians can fit an IVC filter in the inferior vena cava, where it can prevent any blood clot pieces from traveling further up the vein. Physicians previously fitted IVC filters on a permanent basis, but the devices are now disposable. IVC filter placement is a surgical procedure, which a patient will normally undergo on an outpatient basis. There are, however, risks from the procedure. If you suffer an injury from an IVC filter, you may need the help of a trained IVC filter attorney.
IVC filter risks and complications
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a safety warning in 2010.2 In this warning, they noted 921 adverse events since 2005 affecting IVC filter patients. These included:
- 328 device migrations, where the IVC filter moved to another part of the body
- 146 embolizations, where device components detached
- 70 perforations of the inferior vena cava
- 58 filter fractures
If you or a loved one suffers an injury from IVC filter placement or removal, you should consult a competent lawyer for advice.
Finding the right attorney
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible following an injury, as there may restrictions on the time you have to file a lawsuit. It is therefore critical to find a knowledgeable attorney. Legal websites offer online directories of lawyers. You can search the list by field or location to find the right attorney for you. You may also be able to find a competent attorney by using search engines or other online directories.
A personal recommendation can also be very useful. Patients suffering an injury may belong to a support group. Other members of the group may be able to recommend a competent IVC filter attorney who can help you. Business recommendations may also be possible. Your accountant or financial advisor, for example, may have details of a trained IVC filter lawyer.
Why you may need to speak to an attorney
Injury from an IVC filter may lead to additional, sizable medical bills. You may lose wages as a result of absence from work. You may also suffer considerable pain, discomfort, and additional inconvenience as a result of these complications. An attorney can give you the advice that you need to file a class action lawsuit. You may be able to claim compensation. An attorney will be able to ensure that you stand the best chances of winning and that you get the right settlement.