Study Suggests Doctors Should Stop Using IVC Filters So Often

Posted on behalf of The Nye Law Group on Mar 02, 2017 in Class Actions

operating roomInferior vena cava (IVC) filters are placed in the inferior vena cava to catch blood clots before they reach the heart or lungs, possibly causing a fatal pulmonary embolism. These devices can be life-saving for people who cannot take anticoagulant medications to break up blood clots.

A new study published in JAMA Surgery in January, reveals that implanting IVC filters in trauma patients does not improve their survival rate.

This contradicts the common assumption that IVC filters help prevent these patients from dying of blood clots. This assumption caused hospitals to routinely implant these filters in trauma patients, even if they were not diagnosed with blood clots.

This may have needlessly put patients at risk for complications from the filters, including infections, device migration to vital organs, and damage to veins and tissues.

The study focused on patients of the Level-1 trauma center at Boston University School of Medicine who were implanted with an IVC filter between 2003 and 2012.

Patients who survived for 24 hours and were implanted with an IVC filter did not have a higher survival rate than patients who did not receive a filter.

Patients had follow-up appointments at six months and one year after their discharge, but the survival rate for IVC-filter-patients was still not higher than patients who were not implanted with these devices.  

Researchers believe there is still a need for IVC filters with some patients who cannot use anticoagulants. However, they do not support indiscriminate use of these devices, according to an opinion piece published in JAMA Cardiology.

Many IVC Filters Are Not Removed

The study also revealed that just eight percent of temporary IVC filters implanted in trauma patients were removed. This backs up findings from other studies which reveal that less than 30 percent of IVC filters are ever retrieved.

Unfortunately, trauma patients who were implanted with these filters may not even realize it. Also, few hospitals ever follow up with these patients, which is a main reason why the devices are often not removed.

The risk of severe, potentially life-threatening complications from these devices increases the longer they are in the body.

Have you suffered severe side effects or lost a loved one after he or she was implanted with an IVC filter? You might be able to file an IVC filter lawsuit to recover compensation for all of the damages you have suffered.

Contact The Nye Law Group's defective medical device lawyers today for a free, no obligation legal consultation. You will not be charged legal fees unless we obtain a favorable resolution of your claim.

Call 855-856-4212 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.

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