A lawsuit has been filed against the manufacturer of a temporary IVC filter when multiple attempts to retrieve it failed.
Jon F. from Oklahoma was implanted with an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter on Aug. 5, 2014, according to the Daily Hornet. Dr. Cordell L. Privat at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa performed the minor surgery to help prevent a pulmonary embolism (PE) from occurring.
IVC filters are devices resembling a spider that are inserted into the vena cava, the largest vein in the body. They are intended to catch blood clots before they can travel to the heart or lungs. The device’s needle-thin legs anchor into the vein to keep it in place during the constant movement of blood and pulsating of the vein walls.
Many IVC filters, particularly the temporary designs, have been found to be unable to withstand the normal forces that occur inside the vein. They have a high rate of failure by tilting, perforating the vein or organs, breaking apart, or migrating.
When Jon’s IVC filter removal was attempted on Feb. 19, 2015, the doctors found that the filter had tilted, making the hook at the apex difficult to snare. Retrieval required multiple attempts over the course of the surgery, endangering the patient, before it was finally gripped and removed.
“As a direct result,” the lawsuit states, “Plaintiff suffered significant injuries, including, but not limited to a tilted and embedded filter by the Option ELITE filter, that occurred as a result of the IVC filter’s failure.”
The lawsuit accuses the manufacturer and marketer, Rex Medical and Argon Medical, of failing to warn doctors and patients of the dangerous potential for tilting, breakage, embedding, causing PE and damaging the vein.
Lawyers fighting on behalf of injured patients say the failure of the Option IVC filter is due to a “design defect causing the filters to be unable to withstand the normal anatomical and physiological loading cycles exerted in vivo.”
Jon’s lawsuit is only one of over 4,500 suits filed against IVC filter makers including Rex Medical, Argon Medical, Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, B. Braun alleging injuries related to the retrievable IVC filters.