A Connecticut woman has filed a lawsuit against Rex Medical for injuries she claims are linked to her failed inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. IVC filters are devices resembling a spider inserted into the vena cava for the purpose of catching blood clots before they cause pulmonary embolism by travelling to the heart or lungs.
The Daily Hornet reports that Peggy F. from Connecticut was inserted with an IVC filter on Feb. 2, 2014, at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. The filter was called an Option retrievable filter made by Rex Medical. Retrievable models are fashioned with a hook at the tip for removal, but, many times, doctors find the filter has tilted, perforated, migrated or fractured, which makes the removal process much more difficult or impossible.
When the FDA became aware of the high rate of failure of retrievable IVC filters, it released an official recommendation that filters be removed between 29 and 54 days after insertion. If the filter remains beyond that time frame, the patient becomes at higher risk for complications associated with filter malfunction or failure.
Peggy’s filter was used as a precaution just before she underwent brain surgery, even though there weren’t any blood clots at the time.
On June 17, 2016, Peggy received a CT scan that revealed the legs of the filter had perforated her inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body, and had pushed through the wall of the vein itself. Doctors suggested the filter may be clogged, but couldn’t be certain.
Peggy has filed a lawsuit against Rex Medical, claiming the company knew about the risk of complications related to its device and downplayed them, failed to warn of side effects, and sold a defective device with dangerous complications.