An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a cage-like device that is inserted into the largest vein in the body, with intention to catch blood clots before they travel to the heart and/or lungs. Retrievable IVC filters are designed to be inserted only temporarily, and then removed between 29 and 54 days after insertion.
According to RadiologyInfo.org, a website operated by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (RSNA), however, even filters designed and intended to be retrievable are not always able to be retrieved.
Many retrievable IVC filters models such as C.R. Bard’s Recovery, G2 and G2 Express, as well as Cook Medical’s Gunther Tulip and Celect models have been linked to life-threatening complications including migration, fraction and perforation, which may result in embolism, organ damage and death, when they are left in the body longer than they are designed.
RadiologyInfo.org’s website states, “There is a chance that the IVC filter can lodge in the wrong place, change position or penetrate through the vein,” warning patients that there is a definite risk when receiving an IVC filter, which they should discuss with their doctor. The RNSA also notes, “The IVC filter or a piece of the IVC filter may break loose and travel to the heart or lungs.”
The Bard Recovery filter alone is linked to at least 27 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Both Bard and Cook Medical are facing an onslaught of lawsuits all over the U.S. alleging injuries and deaths related to IVC filters.