As a Corpus Christi and Texas Bard IVC filter lawyer, I continue to stay informed about problems with these medical devices. Inferior vena cava ("IVC") filters are small umbrella-like devices which are used in persons who have a risk of pulmonary embolism, but cannot use various anticoagulation medications. The IVC filter is a safety net which is put in the inferior vena cava, which is a large vein. The inferior vena cava moves deoxygenated blood from the body’s lower extremities to the upper part of the body. This filter is designed to catch blood clots forming in the lower body prior to their travel to the lungs, where they may become dangerous pulmonary emboli.
There are various types of IVC filters. However, two of the types made by Bard, the Recovery and G2 filter, are now being investigated by the Food & Drug Administration for dangerous side effects and bad complications. Both of the Bard IVC products have been found to have a high probability for breakage, fracture, and general failure. These Bard IVC filters have nitinol metal, which allows the IVC filter to have a shape memory. Unfortunately, the research during a study has indicated that nitinol metal may cause a large role in the problems with the filters. In this study, of the 80 patients who got the filters, 13 of the patients had at least one IVC fracture. These fractures, of course, can move throughout the circulatory system, causing severe health problems and even death.
In fact, during the seven year period since the FDA approved the filters, there have been approximately 1,000 adverse events which have been reported to the FDA. The study results will be available in November 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The researchers and the FDA advise that doctors and potential patients review and understand the various risks of the implants, as well as removing the implant after the danger of clotting is gone.