The number of lawsuits pending against medical device manufacturing giant C.R. Bard over IVC filters continues to grow. According to the latest report by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on July 17, 2017, there are now more than 2,200 lawsuits pending against Bard over inferior vena cava (IVC) filters.
Lawsuits allege the IVC filters have injured people trusting the device to save their life.
The latest lawsuit involves a Texas woman named Laura R. who claims she was injured by Bard’s Denali filter. Laura received the filter on May 20, 2016, to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE), a deadly condition in which blood clots enter the lungs, The Daily Hornet reports.
The Denali is Bard’s 6th attempt to create a reliable IVC filter device, and is the only IVC filter that Bard still actively sells. Every filter prior to the Denali was pulled from the market without a recall.
In one 2015 case report, a 46-year-old woman was implanted with a Denali filter as a preventive measure just before bariatric surgery. Fewer than six months later, she returned to have the filter removed, as the period of risk for PE had passed. She advised that she had been experiencing chest pains for the last week, and upon retrieval, doctors found that the filter had fractured and broken apart, with one needle-like filter leg located in the right ventricle of her heart. Every part of the filter was removed but the one lodged in her heart, as the removal was too dangerous.
The woman underwent open-heart surgery to remove the filter fragment, which had already begun traversing through the ventricular wall, causing cardiac tamponade, a serious condition in which blood or fluid builds up in the heart sac.
The Denali has been reported to have the same problems as its predecessors: a tendency to fracture, migrate, perforate the vein and/or organs, and tilt.