An IVC filter is a small, wire, medical device somewhat resembling a spider. “IVC” stands for Inferior vena cava – one of the two major veins carrying blood to the heart. The IVC filter was designed to be implanted in the inferior vena cava to prevent pulmonary embolism (blood clots that travel to the lungs). Unfortunately, since the introduction of IVC filters, the FDA has received many adverse reports of the filters migrating or breaking off in the body, causing serious injuries or death. If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one because of an IVC filter, a skilled Las Vegas personal injury attorney at J. Cogburn Law Offices can help you pursue compensation for the losses you have suffered.
Injuries Associated with IVC Filters
Reports have shown that a part of the filter can break off, or the entire filter can migrate into different parts of the body. The filter, or a broken-off part, can puncture the heart or lungs, causing serious injuries or death. The risk of the device splintering increases with the length of time it remains in the body.
Additionally, some IVC filters were initially advertised as being easily retrievable when no longer needed by the patient. However, this has not proven to be the case. Along with migrating or breaking apart, they have been known to shift or tilt in the body, making removal difficult and dangerous and causing punctures during removal in some cases.
Complications and injuries associated with IVC filters include:
- Filter migration
- Filter fracture
- Tilting of the IVC filter
- Inability to retrieve IVC filter
- Pulmonary embolism
- Compromised respiration
Manufacturers of IVC Filters
The two largest manufacturers of IVC filters are Cook Medical and C.R. Bard. Together, these two companies have manufactured most of the IVC filters that have caused serious harm to patients. Other IVC filter manufacturers include ALN, Boston Scientific, B. Braun Interventional Systems, Inc., Cordis, Rex Medical, and Volcano Corporation.
Proving an IVC Filter Injury Claim in Las Vegas
In a negligence lawsuit in Nevada, the standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. This means that you and your Las Vegas IVC filter attorney will need to prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant was negligent. Evidence to support your claim may include:
- Your medical history and medical records.
- Expert testimony showing a causal connection between the IVC filter and your injuries.
- Marketing materials showing that the defendant failed to provide physicians and patients with key information warning of the possible hazards of using the device.
A negligence lawsuit filed against an IVC filter manufacturer may allege that the manufacturer:
- Was negligent because its faulty device caused a high number of failures with no medical benefit in many cases.
- Failed to warn physicians and patients about the risk of the IVC filter breaking, leading to the risk of metal pieces traveling through the bloodstream causing injury to organs.
- Concealed research and information about known problems with the device.
MDLs in Medical Device Lawsuits
Most lawsuits against manufacturers of medical devices are consolidated as multi-district litigation (MDL). This is a streamlined method to determine preliminary matters for several lawsuits with similar facts and damages at once. After preliminary matters are decided, the individual lawsuits are transferred back to their original courts for resolution, unless they are settled in the MDL stage. An Las Vegas IVC filter attorney at J. Cogburn Law Offices will walk you through your options to determine the best course for litigating your case.
Contact J. Cogburn Law Today
If you or a loved one suffered complications or died after surgery in which an IVC filter was used, connect with an attorney at J. Cogburn Law Offices for a free case consultation today.