Every year, doctors are implanting almost a quarter of a million IVC filters into patients who are at risk for blood clots; however, new studies have revealed that there are a number of serious dangers associated with these medical devices.
A blood clot that forms deep in the veins – typically in the legs – are referred to DVT or deep vein thrombosis. If the blood clot reaches the lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism, or PE, which may become fatal. In most cases, doctors will treat the health conditions with an anticoagulant, which is better known as blood thinners. However, these medications are not safe for some. If you are determined to be at risk for PE and not a candidate for blood thinners, your doctor may opt to implant an IVC (inferior vena cava) filter.
Unfortunately, an IVC filter has been associated with all types of catastrophic injuries and patients who have blood clot filters need to be aware of the issues that may arise. Some important facts to know about these filters can be found here.
The Majority of IVC Filters are Retrievable
The retrievable IVC Filters are intended for placement short-term and they should be promptly removed after the person’s risk of developing a blood clot passes. However, there are many patients who don’t have any mention of the placement of the IVC filter when they are discharged and, as a result, don’t receive any follow-up care. In fact, one study showed that only about 8.5 percent of all IVC filters was removed successfully.
The Longer an IVC Filter is in Place, the Higher the Risk of an Injury
Once the risk of a person developing a blood clot has passed, the IVC filter needs to be removed. This is typical between one and two months after it has been implanted. Some of the long term issues with an IVC filter include DVT and IVC occlusion.
More than 30 Deaths have been Directly Related to IVC Filters
According to an investigation done by NBC, more than 30 deaths have occurred that are directly linked to the placement of IVC filters. As a result, many questions have been raised about the implantation of these devices in patients who are at risk of developing blood clots, including whether or not the manufacturer new or told about the possibly fatal flaws.
Hundreds of Injuries from IVC Filters have been Reported to the FDA
The FDA has issued a warning that filters are subject to device migration, embolization and filter fracture, as well as pieces of the device perforating various organs and issues with removal of the device. These issues are directly connected to how long the filter is left implanted.
Some Studies Show IVC Filters don’t Offer any Type of Medical Benefit
There are a number of studies that have shown the placement of the IVC filter offers no benefit regarding the reduction of trauma or fatality and have actually been shown to increase events of DVT.