Are IVC Filters Ticking Time Bombs?

When we agree to be treated with medication or a medical device, we trust that it has been thoroughly tested for safety and performance. We also trust that this treatment will not cause us harm or endanger our lives. Unfortunately, there are occasions when this trust is violated. Many medical devices and medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and put on the market have had to be recalled soon afterward when serious side effects and other health dangers were realized.

But in many cases, the FDA and manufacturers of faulty drugs and devices will not issue a recall, insisting that these products are safe thought evidence points to the contrary. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to defective medication or a medical device, you and your family may be eligible for significant compensation. To find out more about your legal rights and options, call the New York offices of Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, for a free case evaluation at (212) 986-7353.

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IVC Filters

Many Americans suffer from deep vein thrombosis, blood clots that form in the legs, arms, or pelvis. The danger with deep vein thrombosis is that a blood clot can sometimes become dislodged and travel to the lungs, blocking off blood flow to that essential organ. This condition is called a pulmonary embolism and it is potentially fatal. For many years, anticoagulants, or blood thinners, were used to treat patients who were at risk for developing blood clots. However, many patients suffer severe side effects when taking blood thinners, such as excessive menstrual bleeding, severe headaches or stomachaches, and dizziness or weakness.

This dilemma prompted the pharmaceutical industry to search for alternative methods of treating deep vein thrombosis and preventing pulmonary embolisms. One medical device that was developed is the inferior vena cava filter, or IVC filter. An IVC filter is a tiny, expandable, spider-like wire device that is inserted into the inferior vena cava, the human body’s largest vein. Once in place, the IVC filter acts as a sieve, allowing the flow of blood but blocking blood clots from reaching the lungs or heart.

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Dangers of IVC Filters

IVC filters were first approved by the FDA in 2003, and since then, thousands upon thousands of patients have been treated with these devices. But, as we’ve seen so many times before, serious problems soon began being reported in relation to treatment with IVC filters. Some filters broke apart, either by themselves or during attempts at removal, allowing tiny wires to puncture veins and embed themselves in organs. A Georgia woman was forced to undergo open heart surgery when a piece of her IVC filter broke free and became lodged in her heart.

IVC filters have also been known to migrate from their intended position into other parts of the body, making them difficult or impossible to retrieve. To date, an estimated 30 deaths and countless injuries have been attributed to IVC filters. What’s worse is that there is evidence that certain manufacturers of the devices were aware of their dangers, yet took no action to warn the medical community or the public.

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When IVC Filters Malfunction

If you were treated with an IVC filter and suffered any adverse side effects, you may be entitled to compensation from the device’s manufacturer, and possibly the physician who prescribed it or inserted it. But don’t expect a check in the mail. Medical device manufacturers and malpractice insurance companies are in the business of denying liability claims. In order to get compensation that is worthy of your injuries and the impact they’ve had on your life, you need the representation of an experienced and aggressive New York defective medical device attorney.

For over half a century, the legal team at New York City’s Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP has been standing up for the victims of faulty manufacturing and medical malpractice. Let us put our experience to work on your case by calling (212) 986-7353 today for a free consultation.

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Additional Information