C.R. Bard and Cook IVC Filters Investigation
Stueve Siegel Hanson is investigating claims of personal injuries and deaths resulting from retrievable Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters.
What Are IVC Filters?
Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters are small, cage-like devices that are inserted into a patient’s body to prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs. Retrievable IVC filters are designed to be used for a temporary period of time until the risk of blood clots has subsided.
Patients undergoing bariatric surgery, orthopedic surgery, and trauma victims are most likely to be implanted with an IVC filter.
There are several manufacturers of retrievable IVC filters with C.R. Bard and Cook Medical as the most commonly used filters.
What Can Go Wrong?
Serious injuries including death, severe pain, pulmonary embolus, respiratory compromise, hemorrhage, and damage to tissue, vessels, and organs can occur due to the migration, fracture, and perforation of IVC filters.
Migration: the IVC filter can move which can cause fracture, perforation, and can cause the device to be ineffective resulting in blood clots.
Device Fracture: pieces of the filter can break off and become lodged in the heart, lung, liver and kidney. IVC fractures have caused serious injuries and resulted in several deaths.
Perforation: the IVC filter can punch holes in adjacent organs and vessels and make it very difficult to remove without causing bodily harm.
On May 6, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated a previous safety communication regarding the amount of time an IVC retrievable filter should remain in a patient’s body. According to the FDA, the longer an IVC filter remains in a patient’s body the higher the risk for an injury to occur. The FDA now recommends IVC removal within 29-64 days to reduce this higher risk of injury. For the complete FDA communication on IVC Filters, click here.
On July 13, 2015, following an investigation, the FDA issued a warning letter to Bard stating that Bard’s IVC filter manufacturing facilities failed to investigate or attempt to address complaints regarding IVC filters, including reports “of at least 110 patients who were exposed to scheduled retrieval surgical procedures to remove an IVC filter that were not successful”. For the complete FDA warning letter, click here.
Media Investigates IVC Filters
September 4, 2015. NBC Nightly News Investigates C.R. Bard IVC Filters.
A new NBC News investigative report exposes the risks of serious dangers linked to the Bard Recovery inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. The series, which first aired September 3 and 4, 2015, described the findings of a year-long investigation into the serious injuries and fatalities linked to the Bard Recovery brand IVC filters. The report indicates that Bard knew the filter could migrate or fracture but failed to warn the public, concealed the dangers from the FDA, and continued to sells tens of thousands of Recovery filters for several more years. Watch the two-part series here. NBC News IVC Filter Investigation part 1 NBC News IVC Filter Investigation Part 2
IVC Filter Litigation
Across the country, lawsuits are being filed against the manufacturers of retrievable IVC filters. The plaintiffs claim defects in the filters caused serious injuries and deaths.
A number of these lawsuits were consolidated by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) as multidistrict litigations (MDL). A MDL is designed to efficiently manage a large number of civil cases filed across the county that share at least one common question of fact. They are consolidated in to a single federal district court, which then handles all discovery and pretrial proceedings for the lawsuits.
In Indianapolis, there are currently over 100 lawsuits pending against Cook Medical, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
On August 17, 2015, the JPML consolidated cases against C.R. Bard in the U.S. District Court of Arizona in Phoenix.
Our attorneys are investigating injuries caused by IVC retrievable filters. If you or someone you know was injured by an implanted retrievable IVC filter, and wish to receive a free confidential consultation about your legal options, please call 1-866-714-0875 or fill out the form at the right side of this page.
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