A large vein (the inferior vena cava1 or IVC) carries blood from the lower body to the heart. Patients at risk from blood clots in the leg and pelvis may suffer serious injury or even die if pieces of these clots travel up to the heart or lungs (pulmonary embolism). For patients at risk, physicians may recommend the placement of an IVC filter. Disposable IVC filters can successfully prevent patients from a pulmonary embolism, but there are risks and complications when using these devices.
Risks identified with IVC filters
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a public warning2 in 2010, outlining the potential risk of disposable IVC filter placement. Between 2005 and 2010, patients reported 921 adverse events from IVC filters. Common problems were:
- Device migration, often resulting in surgery to remove the filter from another part of the body
- Embolization, where device components detached and caused injury or even death
- Perforation of the IVC, causing heavy bleeding
- Filter fractures, resulting in a variety of different injuries
Certain brands of IVC filters are more prone to these risks. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine,3 for example, found that Bard® IVC filters resulted in a higher number of fractures and embolizations. If you or a loved one suffers an injury of this nature, you should contact an attorney for advice.
How an attorney can help
A trained attorney can help assess whether you may be able to file a Bard IVC filter lawsuit. He or she can advise on the evidence that you may need to be able to present, including medical reports, for example. A knowledgeable attorney will have recent experience of similar cases and will be able to advise you on the outcome of other cases concerning Bard IVC filters. An attorney can help advise each step in the process, and will be able to represent you at each stage. He or she can ensure you have the highest chance of success and receive the highest settlement possible based on the circumstances of your case.
Filing a lawsuit
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as you become aware of a potential IVC filter injury. You can search for an attorney via the web by location or field. A statute of limitations4 is the legally prescribed period of time during which you may file a Bard IVC filter lawsuit. The period differs according to state law and the nature of the injury. In order to file a Bard IVC filter lawsuit, there are specific documents to submit and key steps to follow. Talk to your attorney for further advice.