On July 5, 2005, Bianca Fraser-Johnson received an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter at University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The filter was a G2 retrievable model made by C.R. Bard, one not designed to be left in place for long periods of time.
In July of 2013, Fraser-Johnson was living in Delaware when she began experiencing severe chest pain, and rushed to her doctor to be checked. On July 10, doctors removed a 4.5 centimeter wire from her chest, not knowing how the wire could have gotten there.
In the spring of 2015, Fraser-Johnson experienced severe chest pain again, and was referred to an interventional radiologist. It was then that doctors discovered that her IVC filter had fractured, and portions of the filter had migrated. It took two surgeries to remove all the debris from her body.
An 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.
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.
Both Bard and Cook are facing a large number of lawsuits claiming that the manufacturers failed to warn of the potential risk, holding them responsible for the injuries and deaths that have occurred. The Recovery filter alone has been linked to at least 27 deaths and hundreds of injuries.