The Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter is a medical device intended to help prevent blood clots from moving to the lungs – a dangerous situation that can result in a potentially-fatal pulmonary embolism. Since the 1960s, tens of thousands of patients in Texas and across the country have received IVC filters. Today, these devices come from two primary manufacturers: C.R. Bard and Cook Medical.
In the past 10 years, it has come to light that many IVC filters are doing more harm than good. C.R. Bard and Cook Medical have been at the center of numerous lawsuits filed by IVC filter recipients and their families who have suffered as a result of these companies’ dangerous medical devices.
If you believe you may have been injured or lost a loved one due to a defective IVC filter, we urge you to call our office at (800) 489-2216 to speak with one of our Houston personal injury attorneys about your case.
The Dangers of IVC Filters
Since 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received nearly 1,000 reports of IVC filters causing serious – and sometimes fatal – injuries. The problem is that the legs of these fragile devices, which look something like a cross between a metal whisk and a spider, can break off and travel through patients’ bloodstreams. IVC filters are generally designed to be removable and the longer they stay in the body, the more likely they are to fracture.
When this happens and when metal fragments from IVC devices make their way into patients’ hearts and lungs, the results can be devastating. Reported conditions resulting from defective IVC filter implants include:
• Inability to retrieve the IVC filter
• Pulmonary embolism
• Respiratory complications
Studies have shown that as many as 25 to 31 percent of all IVC filters suffer from this dangerous flaw.
IVC Filter Manufacturer C.R. Bard Faces Lawsuits, Receives Warning Letter from the FDA
Earlier this year, the FDA sent a warning letter to C.R. Bard accusing the company of several legal violations relating to its IVC filters. Among other things, the letter asserts that C.R. Bard has been selling an IVC filter removal device without the necessary FDA approval.
Following issuance of the FDA’s letter, NBC news published a report alleging that C.R. Bard knowingly sold defective IVF filters for years until it had a suitable replacement device ready to go to market. Many of the lawsuits already underway hinge on these allegations, as well as the faulty nature of the devices in general.
What Can You Do if You or a Loved One Has Been Harmed By an IVC Filter?
If you or a family member has been harmed by an IVC filter, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation and C.R. Bard has already entered into a confidential settlement with at least one apparent victim.
At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we have the knowledge, resources and experience necessary to help you enforce your legal rights. For a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact us today.