When Billy J. S., an Alabama resident, was found to be at serious risk for a blood clot in January 2007, he was implanted with a Recovery inferior vena cava (IVC) filter at a local hospital in the state. The filter is a small, cage-like device inserted into the inferior vena cava to capture blood clots and prevent them from reaching the lungs.
Billy didn’t know that the Recovery filter had been pulled from the market two years earlier due to reported injuries and deaths linked to the device. No recall or safety warnings were issued. Doctors and patients remained unaware of the device’s high rate of failure.
The Recovery has the highest reported rate of fracture of any IVC filter, and has been linked to at least 27 deaths and hundreds of nonfatal injuries. In a 2012 study involving 363 patients, the Recovery showed a 40 percent failure rate within five and a half years. In eight of those cases, the fractured pieces migrated to the lungs, heart, kidneys or femoral veins, posing a life-threatening risk.
The Recovery filter is a temporary, or retrievable IVC filter that is designed to be removed when the risk of blood clots has ended. Because of its fragile design, the filter has been known to tilt, migrate and perforate veins as well as vital organs.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), temporary IVC filters should be removed between 29-54 days after insertion. However, in many cases of a tilted, migrated or perforated filter, the device is rendered irretrievable, and doctors are forced to leave the filter in place as a permanent filter. The longer a temporary filter remains in the body, the patient sustains a higher risk of fracture or other resulting injuries due to a failed filter.
Source: Daily Hornet