An Arizona woman has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of her IVC filter after it tilted and punctured her vein.
Rosalie L., from Tucson, Arizona, has filed a lawsuit against Argon Medical Devices Inc. and Rex Medical, L.P. over the malfunction of her inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, called the Option ELITE, reports the Daily Hornet.
IVC filters are cage-like devices created to catch blood clots in their thin metal legs, intercepting the clot before it can reach the heart or lungs, which would result in a deadly pulmonary embolism. According to Science Daily, a new clinical study suggests that nearly half of the patients who survive pulmonary embolism suffer long-term health problems that significantly impact their quality of life.
The IVC filter is anchored into place by small, sharp hooks at the tip of each leg, which dig into the wall of the vena cava. However, studies have shown the sharp points often pierce through the vein, sometimes impaling nearby organs.
Rosalie received her IVC filter on Sept. 17, 2013, at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. The surgeon was Dr. Jennifer A. Cresswell, who believed that the IVC filter was the best method of preventing pulmonary embolism.
Two years later, on Sept. 29, 2015, Rosalie was told by doctors that her IVC filter had tilted and pierced through the walls of her inferior vena cava. The only solution was surgery to remove the device.
Rosalie was quickly informed, however, that surgery to remove the device would result in severe negative impact on her kidney function, which was even more dangerous. The reluctant decision was made to leave the IVC filter in her body, with the hope that the problem would not worsen over time.
As a result, Rosalie’s lawyers say, she suffered significant injuries due to the tilted and embedded filter.
“Failure of Ddefendant’s IVC filter leads to a number of different, and potentially fatal, complications; including: death, hemorrhage, thrombosis, cardiac/pericardial temponade, severe and persistent pain, and perforation of tissues, vessels, and organs,” the complaint states.
Rosalie’s lawsuit joins more than 4,000 others currently pending against IVC filter manufacturers such as Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, B. Braun, and others.