Doctors could be implanting Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters in patients who do not need them, needlessly exposing these patients to the risk of complications, according to a study published last month in the journal JAMA Surgery.
The goal of the study was to determine if the use of an IVC filter increased the odds of survival in trauma patients.
IVC filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava, a large vein in the abdomen, to stop blood clots before they can reach the heart or the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which could be fatal.
Researchers studied patients who received IVC filters between 2003 and 2012 at a Level-1 trauma center at Boston University School of Medicine.
They concluded that implanting IVC filters in patients who survived for one day did not increase the survival rate.
Patients followed up with the hospital at six months and one year after discharge. Researchers found that there was no significant difference between the survival rates of these patients and those who were not implanted with the filters.
IVC filters can be a life-saving option for patients who cannot take anticoagulant medications, but indiscriminate use of these devices puts patients at risk of severe complications, according to an opinion piece about the study published in JAMA Cardiology.
Potential complications from these devices range from severe pain to hemorrhaging and perforation of blood vessels and internal organs.
The study in JAMA Surgery also revealed that just eight percent of temporary IVC filters are removed from trauma patients. Leaving the filter in place when it should be removed increases the risk of death, according to the study.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received more than 900 complaints of adverse events related to IVC filters. Many people who suffered these complications have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of these devices.
If you were implanted with an IVC filter and suffered severe side effects, you may be able to file an IVC filter lawsuit to recover compensation.
Contact the Bard IVC filter injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy for a free consultation. We do not charge for our services unless you recover fair compensation.