The doctors have broken the bad news: you have deep vein thrombosis. But don’t worry, they say they have the perfect solution. They can place an IVC filter in your inferior vena cava to catch any blood clots. This will prevent them from reaching your heart and causing further issues.
Seems like a no brainer, right? The fear of blood clots is why many people opt to have an IVC filter put in. But the results aren’t always so positive. In fact, many people have come forward with complaints related to the filter. Many have filed IVC filter lawsuits.
Remember, it’s vital to advocate for your health. But filing a lawsuit against a medical device manufacturer is no easy task. The right team of lawyers can help you seek the justice you deserve. Suffering at the hands of a faulty medical device isn’t okay. Always know, you have rights.
If you believe an IVC filter is the reason for your medical issues and health concerns, you may deserve compensation. Contact Hampton & King today to explore your options and to discuss filing a possible IVC filter lawsuit.
A Story Of Neglect
Hudson O’Keefe had blood clots in both legs. When doctors planned on operating on her to remove her uterus because of possible ovarian cancer, they placed a retrievable IVC filter inside her. This would prevent the blood clots from traveling to the lungs during surgery. She was assured the device would be removed after surgery.
Hudson didn’t have ovarian cancer, thankfully. But now she wanted the device out. Her doctor pushed for it to stay inside. And so it did. Over several years, she began developing sharp pains in her abdomen. A CT scan showed the IVC filter was completely perforated. The prongs of the device were all outside of her inferior vena cava. One particular prong was sticking into her duodenum and was causing severe abdominal pain. She requested the removal of the filter once again. Several years later, Hudson is still waiting for a medical professional to remove the IVC filter.
What Is An IVC Filter?
An IVC filter is a medical device that is placed in the inferior vena cava (IVC). The inferior vena cava is a large vein responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood to the heart. The human body has two large vena cavas. The superior vena cava carries blood from the upper body to the heart. The inferior vena cava carries blood from the lower body up to the heart.
The IVC filter helps trap blood clots that may form in the deep veins of the lower body. This prevents the clots from traveling to one of the arteries that go from the heart to the lungs. If a clot does get caught, it can lead to serious complications such as a Pulmonary Embolism.
Who Needs An IVC Filter?
An IVC filter is designed for individuals with deep vein thrombosis or a history of pulmonary embolism. IVC filters may also be used for people who have a high risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT causes a hindrance in the normal circulatory system. When blood clots form in the lower body, there is a possibility they can travel up through the inferior vena cava to the heart or lungs. Once there, these clots can disrupt the flow of blood and can cause a pulmonary embolism.
The purpose of the filter is to trap clots and not allow them to travel up through the inferior vena cava.
IVC Filter Complications & Injuries
An IVC filter is supposed to prevent severe injury. But these cage-like devices allegedly have a major design flaw. This defect causes the filters to break apart and migrate outside the inferior vena cava to other parts of the body.
Here are some of the more common issues patients with an IVC filter have experienced:
- Device Migration. When the filter or its parts move to a different part of the body, it can cause internal bleeding or even organ damage. Device migration can also lead to a pulmonary embolism as it can no longer trap blood clots.
- Filter Fraction And Perforation. The filter can fracture over time under normal conditions. This can cause different parts of the filter including the apex or prongs to break off and travel to other parts of the body. Sometimes they can lodge into the heart. Other times they can pierce into veins.
- Filter Clogging. Sometimes the filter can become clogged with many blood clots. This can lead to the blocking of blood flow and cause severe swelling in the legs.
Not to mention the risk of infection, insertion site damage, and the possibility of an allergic reaction.
Filing An IVC Filter Lawsuit
Filing any sort of medical malpractice lawsuit can be tricky business. But when there’s a medical device involved, it can make things even more complicated. Depending on why you’re filing your lawsuit, your claim may be against a medical professional, facility, or the manufacturer of the device.
When it comes to IVC filter lawsuits, your case will be on the basis of one of the following claims:
Negligence: Both medical professionals and manufacturers can be sued for negligence. While a doctor has the duty to insert the filter carefully and correctly, the manufacturer has the duty to create safe and functional devices.
Defective Device: An IVC filter manufacturer can be held liable if the device failed in some way. Defects can show up promptly after the insertion of the device. It could also take several months before patients start noticing symptoms.
Manufacturing Defects: This sounds a lot like a defective device. The difference is that the device was made using faulty or substandard material. Proving the manufacturer cut corners can be very difficult.
Failure To Warn Of Potential Risks And Side Effects: The manufacturer has a duty to clearly state all potential risks and side effects associated with the device. All labels should be easy to understand, visible, and specific. Not providing clear instructions to medical professionals can be grounds for a lawsuit.
Thinking Of Filing? Here’s What You Need To Know
Simply having an IVC filter doesn’t warrant a lawsuit. Certain things need to happen before you can file.
You need to show that you’re suffering complications directly due to the device. If the device was built without a defect, you probably wouldn’t be dealing with the injuries in the first place.
If you have the proper documents to show this and prove this, you can begin pursuing your case. The first step is to meet with an experienced lawyer. Navigating a medical malpractice yourself can be very difficult. Having someone who has dealt with these kinds of cases can make a huge difference and can help you win your case.
Here’s What You Need To Keep In Mind With A IVC Filter Lawsuit:
- Keep all your documents and bring them with you at the first meeting. This includes all scans, bills, prescriptions, and communication between you and the medical provider.
- Act fast. When it comes to medical negligence, you have two years to file your case. If you wait too long, you may not be able to receive any compensation for your IVC filter injuries.
Advocate For Your Health – Contact Hampton & King
Going into the hospital to fix your ailments and coming out with more is a pain that we understand. You rely on these medical devices to keep you safe and healthy. But when they fail, it’s time to seek justice.
We can help you get the compensation you rightly deserve. Contact Hampton & King today for a free consultation and to discuss your potential IVC filter lawsuit.