When someone is at risk of stroke due to blood clots and isn’t a candidate for blood-thinning medication, a doctor may opt to implant an IVC filter into the patient’s inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body. The filter is intended to act as a net, catching blood clots so they don’t travel to the lungs, heart, or brain, where they may cause an embolism. Unfortunately, there are times when these IVC filters can fail, potentially breaking and migrating throughout the body, which might cause serious or fatal injury. IVC filter migration is eligible for a defective medical device injury claim. Here’s what you should know.
IVC Filter Migration Symptoms
IVC filter design continues to evolve, but some people still experience serious complications—enough for the Food and Drug Administration to have issued warnings on retrievable IVC filters.
Additionally, there often isn’t a lot of medical follow-up on the devices after insertion, which leads some experts to believe that people suffer “silent” complications. But IVC filter migration symptoms are rather prominent and often include:
- Hypotension (extremely low blood pressure)
- Chest pain
- Heart rhythm issues
- Neck pain
- Shortness of breath
- Organ perforation
These symptoms indicate that the filter or part of the filter has migrated, which could eventually cause it to enter the lungs or heart. This can cause serious, long-term health problems—such as a stroke, pulmonary embolism, or internal bleeding—requiring surgery or other emergency procedures.
What Happens When an IVC Filter Breaks
If a piece breaks off the filter, it can perforate the vena cava or puncture the heart or lungs, causing excessive internal bleeding and potential wrongful death. Whatever the case may be, there are numerous dangers associated with the IVC filter, especially when the device is left inside of the body long term. Then, patients have to go through emergency retrieval surgery, pay additional expenses related to the condition, lose more time from work and activities, as well as potential income, and more. Proving that a defective medical device caused your injury can be a complex legal battle, but partnering with a skilled legal team makes all the difference.