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. They are often used by people who cannot tolerate blood thinners or anticoagulants.
The filter is implanted into the inferior vena cava (IVC), one of the largest veins in the body. The IVC is responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart. Due to the location of the implant, these devices have become more commonly known as IVC filters.
Several companies manufacture IVC filters, but serious problems have been associated with devices made by C.R. Bard.
Problematic IVC Filters
C.R. Bard manufactured the following defective IVC filters:
- Recovery IVC filter
- Bard G2 filter
- Bard G2 Express filter
It did not take long for serious issues to arise with these filters. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the dangers of Bard filters. According to the FDA, the filter legs had a tendency to break off the device and enter the body. This could create a whole host of medical emergencies, including:
- Lung punctures
- Vein punctures
- Organ punctures
- Blood vessel punctures
- Piercing of the heart
- Blockage of blood flow to the heart
When those filter legs would break off and flow through the veins or arteries, they could easily become lodged in or cause tears to vital areas of the body. Each time this happened, there was imminent potential for severe damage or even death.
To date, at least 39 IVC-related fatalities have been reported, and many more injuries have occurred. Frighteningly, more than 160,000 defective filters were sold over five years.
To make matters worse, removing the defective filters can be a dangerous process and is not always possible. Likewise, removing stray filter legs that have broken off can be a very dangerous procedure. Due to the serious risks of complications or death, few surgeons perform this type of surgery.
The most shocking part of this situation is that when problems with the IVC filters started occurring, C.R. Bard kept selling them. It knew of the potential dangers and ignored its ethical obligation to protect consumers. At Harrison Davis, we loathe when corporations put profits before people. It is our mission to ensure that individuals and their families who were harmed by this sort of device are fully and fairly compensated.
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