Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition that may lead to potentially life-threatening health consequences in patients, including pulmonary embolism, and studies have shown that DVT side effects may be related to the use of certain controversial medical devices, including inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. If you received a blood clot filter in the past, and you have since suffered deep vein thrombosis complications, contact a reputable product liability lawyer to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a claim against the maker of the IVC filter, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot develops in one or more of the deep veins, usually in the legs, causing leg pain or swelling. Deep vein thrombosis may occur without any symptoms, but most people suffering from DVT exhibit symptoms like:
Deep vein thrombosis may occur in individuals who have certain medical conditions that affect how their blood clots, and may also affect individuals who are unable to move for long periods of time, including those who have undergone surgery, been involved in an accident, or are confined to a nursing home or hospital bed. More recently, it has been discovered that deep vein thrombosis side effects may be related to the use of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters in patients at risk for blood clots. The filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood back to the heart, and are designed to prevent blood clots that break free from the deep veins in the legs from traveling to the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism. However, research has shown that deep vein thrombosis may actually be a side effect of IVC filter use.
Deep vein thrombosis can sometimes be treated with prescription medications or certain medical devices designed to prevent the blood from clotting or blood clots from breaking loose and lodging in the lungs. The real danger associated with deep vein thrombosis is that the blood clots in the veins may break free and embolize, or travel through the bloodstream to the heart or lungs, blocking blood flow and causing serious complications, like pulmonary embolism. The most common warning signs of pulmonary embolism include rapid pulse, chest pain or discomfort, unexplained sudden onset of shortness of breath, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and coughing up blood. Together, DVT and pulmonary embolism make up a single disease process known as venous thromboembolism.
According to one randomized controlled trial completed on IVC filters, the devices reduced the incidence of pulmonary embolism but increased the incidence of deep vein thrombosis, and in 2012, the American College of Chest Physicians recommended the use of IVC filters for patients who are unable to use anticoagulant medications and who have either acute pulmonary embolism or acute proximal (above the knee) deep vein thrombosis. In August 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified more than 900 adverse event reports submitted to the agency in connection with IVC filters, including “lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT), filter fracture, filter migration, filter embolization and IVC perforation,” and in 2014, the FDA issued another warning recommending that IVC filters be removed within 29-54 days after implantation, to reduce the risk of DVT and other complications.
The makers of inferior vena cava filters, like C.R. Bard’s G2 filter and Cook Medical’s Celect and Gunther Tulip filter, are facing a growing number of product liability lawsuits filed on behalf of patients who received a blood clot filter and subsequently suffered deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and other potentially deadly complications. If you have been diagnosed with DVT, and you believe an IVC filter side effect to be the cause, consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for legal recourse. With a knowledgeable product liability lawyer on your side, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected, and pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your losses.