Houston IVC Filter Attorney

What is an IVC Filter?

An Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter, made by Rex Medical and Argon Medical Device, is a spider-like medical device that is inserted into the largest vein in the body, which transports blood from the lower body to the right atrium of the heart.

Blood clot filters were developed about 20 years ago, as an alternative to oral and injectable anticoagulants, which some patients are adverse to. The idea behind the filters is that the cage-like legs of the device allow blood to flow freely to the heart while capturing any clots and preventing them from traveling to the brain or lungs.

The devices, first approved by the FDA in 2001, are often used in patients who have a high threat of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Specifically, the devices are used on those who:

  • Have just had a major surgery, such as knee surgery.
  • Have had a traumatic accident, such as a car accident.
  • Are undergoing an extended hospital stay or nursing home stay.
  • Have a history of blood clots.

The Dangers of IVC Filters

Unfortunately, just years after IVC filters were developed, doctors and patients began to file adverse effect reports with the FDA. It seemed that the longer the device was in the body, the more likely it was to cause serious health issues. Just some of the issues included:

  • The device becomes embedded in the wall of the vein.
  • The device migrates to a different part of the body.
  • The device breaks loose and travels to the heart.
  • Part of the device breaks off, lodging in the heart or lungs.
  • The device does not prevent a blood clot, but instead travels with the blood clot to the heart or lungs.

Instead of taking the device off of the market, manufacturers would often simply redesign the filters, give them new names, and continue to market them. Finally, in 2014, the FDA released a warning that the devices should not be left in the body for longer than needed. In 2015 two studies were published that found the filters were only half as effective as oral medications and that their dangers outweighed their benefits.

IVC Filter Class Action Lawsuit

Back in October 2012, a Michigan woman received an Option™ ELITE Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) in order to prevent pulmonary embolism–blood clots in the lungs–but the device ended up causing more harm than it was preventing.

About two years after the implant, the woman discovered that both the legs and hook of the device had become painfully embedded in her left anterior caval wall. Extracting the defective device and making repairs to her body required a complex, dangerous, and stressful surgery as well as a long recovery and emotional trauma.

This month, this woman joins over four thousand other patients who are suing the makers of IVC filters. She and others are claiming that IVC filter manufacturers were negligent for, among other things:

  • Selling a defective medical device.
  • Failing to warn the public about side effects.
  • Misrepresenting information.
  • Breach of warranty.
  • Fraudulent concealment.
  • Consumer fraud.

Some of the medical device manufacturing companies that are facing lawsuits include Rex Medical, Argon Medical, B. Braun, Cook Medical and C.R. Bard.

How The Freeman Law Firm Can Help

If you have suffered serious health issues due to an IVC blood clot filter, or if your loved one has died due to these dangerous and defective devices, you may be able to join a class action lawsuit against its manufacturers.

To learn more about your potential case, ask legal questions, and devise a plan of action, please call the Freeman Law Firm to schedule a free, private consultation.