A Michigan woman whose inferior vena cava (IVC) filter became embedded in her vein has filed a lawsuit against the device’s maker, claiming it sold a defective filter.
Leah C., who received an Option Elite retrievable IVC filter, has filed the lawsuit, saying the device is dangerous. The manufacturers are Rex Medical and Argon Medical Devices, who are familiar with lawsuits over their IVC filters, reports The Daily Hornet.
A retrievable IVC filter is a metallic device that resembles a spider with a hook at its apex to snare for removal. They are inserted into the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body, and are designed to prevent pulmonary embolism by catching blood clots before they reach the heart or lungs.
Leah’s IVC filter was surgically implanted on Oct. 13, 2012, at United Health Services Medical Center in Johnson City, New York by Dr. Francis Mangiacapra. The doctor believed it was the best protection she had against pulmonary embolism.
On Oct. 1, 2014, Leah returned to the hospital where the IVC filter was found to be embedded in her vein. A complex procedure was required to remove the device.
“The hook of the IVC Filter had become embedded in the left anterior caval wall,” the lawsuit states. “The procedure required forceps to dissect the caval wall tissue from the filter hook.”
According to her doctors, the legs of the filter were deeply embedded in the vena caval tissue. A laser was utilized to ablate the tissue and release the filter, finally providing a way for removal.
Lawyers representing Leah claim Rex Medical and Argon Medical Devices sold a defective device that was “prone to an unreasonably high rate of failure including fracture, migration, excessive tilting, embedment, perforation of the vena cava wall and bodily organs, causing thrombosis (blood clots) and failing to prevent pulmonary emboli.”
Currently more than 4,500 IVC filter lawsuits are now pending against IVC filter device manufacturers such as Rex Medical, Argon Medical, B. Braun, Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, and others.