IVC Filter Mass Tort

IVC Filter Breaking or Dislodging While Implanted

Key Screening criteria:

  • Bard or Cook brand filter
  • Must have dislodged, fractured, perforated the vena cava

Surgeons implant retrievable inferior vena cava filters (IVCs) in the veins of patients who are unable to take anticoagulants (blood thinners) in order to prevent blood clots from moving to the lungs. IVCs catch the clots in the blood stream and, over time, the clots dissipate. But the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) received hundreds of adverse reports about the retrievable filters. Reported complications included punctured organs, blood vessels and filter migration to different parts of the body.

In 2010, the FDA warned the retrievable filters posed risks of filter fracture, device migration and organ perforation and should be removed as soon as the patient’s risk for blood clots subsided. The FDA updated safety communication in 2014, stating most devices should be removed between the 29th and 54th day after implantation. But the warning signs came too late for some.