Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters is a medical device that is inserted into the inferior vena cava vein. Furthermore, IVCs are to prevent pulmonary embolism. This occurs when a blood clot called deep vein thrombosis or DVT forms. DVTs usually form in the veins of the lower leg or thigh. As a result, the blood clot can travel up the inferior vena cava into the main chambers of the heart. Therefore, causing a pulmonary embolism. As a result, this can lead to death if not treated immediately. To combat PEs, IVCs are used only when patients cannot use blood thinners to dissolve clots.
IVC filters are a way to prevent blood clots from moving and is a short surgery. Depending on the medical issue of the patient, IVCs can be inserted permanently or be temporary. However, the insertion of these filters have adverse effects.
Defective Filter Deployment: The legs of the filter may become crossed or do not completely expand into the vein. Therefore, it causes poor filtration and may induce filter movement.
Filter Migration: Inferior Vena Cava filters can move from the inserted position to another part in the vein. In addition, The filters can move into the valves or ventricles of the heart. When this happens, open-heart surgery must be performed to remove the filter.
Filter Thrombosis: After the IVC filter has been inserted, patients can develop a DVT. In addition, this increases the patient’s risk of developing a PE.
Filter Fracture: Fracture of the legs of the IVC may occur. Since the legs can penetrate other areas, the filter may need to be removed.
IVC Perforation: In some cases, the IVC filter can puncture the walls of the inferior vena cava vein. As a result, this can lead to significant bleeding.
Filter Infection: As with all medical devices inserted into the body, an infection can occur at the implantation site.
Pulmonary Embolism: An insertion of an IVC filter is used to minimize the chances of a pulmonary embolism. However, there are chances that a patient may still develop a pulmonary embolism even after insertion.
Due to the ineffectiveness of stopping blood clots or creating more serious injury due to the placement of the IVC filter, manufactures have been sued by victims due to the complications suffered by the IVC medical devices. Recently, a judge passed a verdict awarding victims $7.8 million for their pain and suffering from IVC filters.