Defective IVC Filters
Thousands of people depend on blood clot filters to block potentially life-threatening blood clots from reaching the heart or lungs.
Artificial filters are medical devices designed to catch blood clots and are often used by people who cannot tolerate blood thinners. The filter is implanted into the inferior vena cava (IVC), one of the largest veins in the body, which carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart. This location has led to these devices being more commonly known as IVC filters.
Several companies manufacture these filters, but serious problems have been associated with devices made by C.R. Bard.
Models Of IVC Filters And The Problems They Cause
C.R. Bard manufactured the following defective IVC filters:
- Recovery IVC filter
- Bard G2 filter
- Bard G2 Express filter
Early on, serious problems were reported. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the dangers of Bard filters. One of the main problems with the devices was the tendency of the filter legs to break off and enter the body. A multitude of serious complications are possible:
- Lung punctures
- Vein punctures
- Organ punctures
- Blood vessel punctures
- Piercing of the heart
- Blockage of blood flow to the heart
When the filter legs break off and flow freely through the veins or arteries, they can become lodged in vital areas of the body and cause potentially severe damage and even death.
At least 27 fatalities have been reported, and many more injuries have occurred. More than 160,000 defective filters were sold over five years.
Removing the defective filters can be a dangerous process and is not always possible. Removing stray filter legs that have broken off can be a very dangerous procedure. Few surgeons perform this type of surgery.
The most shocking part of this story is that when problems with the filters started occurring, Bard kept selling them. It knew of the potential dangers and ignored its ethical obligation to protect consumers.
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