April 29, 2010

IVC filters are medical devices that are implanted into the vena cava to filter out blood clots.  Some patients develop Deep Vein Thrombi that are small clots that originate in the leg veins.  These clots loosen and travel from the leg veins to the arteries of the lungs where they become pulmonary emboli.  They block the arteries of the lungs preventing oxygen from getting into your blood, resulting in hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the blood).  This condition can lead to brain damage and even death.  An IVC filter keeps clots from entering the lungs preventing hypoxia, brain damage, or death.  These IVC filters have been reported to fragment and move away from the vena cava traveling to other parts of the body including the heart, lungs, and other organs causing injury or death.  Bard is one of a number of companies that manufacture IVC filters that have had problems with quality control.  Bard’s G2 IVC filter may fracture causing metal shards to deposit in other organs, resulting in serious injury, bleeding, pain, or other complications.  An early warning sign of IVC filter fracture involves sudden onset of chest pain or pain in another part of the body.

U.S. Supreme Court Reviews Defective IVC Filter Cases:

The United States Supreme Court has heard cases involving injuries by defective IVC filters.  In one case, the Court ruled that the injured party was not able to sue the manufacturer for the faulty medical device because of the FDA’s preapproval process.  In these types of cases, civil lawsuits against the manufacturer are “pre-empted,” or barred.  As the injured party has few options to recover for his or her injuries, the patient often tries to file a claim against the physician who implanted the device.

In 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial on federal pre-emption of claims by victims against manufacturers of these medical devices.  The author discussed whether medical device manufactures should be protected from product-liability claims, questioning whether federal pre-emption actually leads to a decrease in the overall safety of such devices and whether the FDA premarketing approval process is thorough enough to justify industry immunity.  The ultimate question is whether society would be better served if patients retained their right to seek legal recourse when they believed a defective medical device had harmed them.  Perhaps, in the long run, this would result in safer medical devices for patients.

If you have experienced blood clots, bleeding, pain or any other clot-related illness with implanted defective IVC filters you may be entitled to financial compensation. Defective IVC filter lawsuits are currently being filed across the country.


Susan Ardizzoni, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Biology with a major in Neuroscience (medical) and minors in Biochemistry, Physics, and Mathematics with experience in basic and clinical research.  Although the author is not an attorney, this article was sponsored by the law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP and constitutes Attorney Advertising.  To learn more about IVC filter or defective IVC filters please visit www.ConsumerInjuryLawyers.com

Published November 17, 2011 by