Ginger Sumner filed a lawsuit against Cook Medical alleging the company’s implantable blood clot filter perforated her internal organs, fractured inside her body, embolized in her lung, and parts of it sill remain lodged in her lung and spine.
Sumner has a blood clotting disorder called protein S deficiency, which makes her more susceptible to blood clots, especially those in the deep veins of her legs. When her anticoagulant therapy proved unsuccessful at treating her deep vein thrombosis, she was implanted with a Cook Celect Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter in July 2010. She was 52 at the time.
An IVC filter is a tiny cage-like device that is implanted in the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood to the heart. The device is intended to catch blood clots before they reach the heart or lungs.
A CT scan performed in June 2011 revealed that one of the filter’s struts may have perforated Sumner’s inferior vena cava. A follow up scan in November 2011 confirmed this fear.
In July 2014, Sumner was rushed to the hospital by ambulance after she experienced a sharp pain. She was discharged for a few days while the hospital assembled the surgical team needed to remove the filter. She returned to the hospital within days for surgery, during which surgeons found that the filter had perforated the right side of her periureteral area, spine, aorta, and duodenum, and a strut had fractured and embolized to her lung.
Sumner underwent open surgery five days later, during which surgeons successfully removed the filter, but were unable to remove the strut in her lung and one that had lodged in her spine.
Sumner’s case is one of dozens involving injuries allegedly caused by Cook’s IVC filters. Similar IVC filter lawsuits have been filed against C.R. Bard. The lawsuits claim that the medical device manufactures knew that their devices could migrate, perforate, fracture and embolize in the body, but failed to adequately warn patients or doctors of this risk.
Source: US District Court of Indiana