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Legal Action Taken In The US Over Safety Concerns Linked To IVC Filters

Expert Product Liability Lawyers Call For Improved Guidance On Deep Vein Thrombosis Devices


Expert product liability lawyers at law firm Irwin Mitchell have warned of the risks associated with the use of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters after a law suit was filed in the USA by two individuals who suffered complications after being fitted with the devices.


The medical devices are intended to be used as a way of filtering and breaking up clots in the blood in those at risk of embolisms and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).


The legal action, against Boston Scientific and Cook Medical, allege that the companies produced defective IVC filters that caused blockages or shifted when used in patients with DVT.

The majority of IVC filter products are intended for short-term use but a number of patients have reported the devices have been left in place for longer than guidelines allow. The FDA issued a warning about prolonger use of some IVC filters in 2010, advising medical professionals to be aware of the possible health complications.


Matthew Newbould, an expert product liability lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:


Expert Opinion
“It is concerning that the Claimants bringing these actions have suffered serious injuries as a result of medical devices designed to protect them from harm.

“The FDA warned against prolonged use of temporary filters in 2010 and these devices seem to be linked with a number of risks, including the perforation of the wall of the vein in which they are placed, the breaking of the metal arms which are intended to hold them in place, and migration of the whole of the device.

“Where migration takes place, the filters can lodge elsewhere in the bloodstream, and in some cases can lead to the development of the life threatening blood clots they were designed to prevent.

“Clearly these issues can cause a serious risk to the health of the patient and it is imperative these devices are looked at carefully and patients are informed of the risks of being fitted with them.

“Patients have every right to expect that medical devices have been thoroughly tested during the manufacturing procedure and that the guidelines for each medical device are followed carefully by medical professionals.”
Matthew Newbould, Solicitor


The UK has an IVC filter registry, last updated in 2011, which tracks the performance of IVC filters. This indicates a general failure rate of the Bard G2 is significantly the highest in terms of general complications (17.8%) followed by the Pyramed ALN (11.1%) and the Bard recovery (10.2%).

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