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It was 1968. Every boy in America was playing with one of the newly released Hot Wheels toy cars, the Vietnam War was in full swing and movie lovers couldn’t stop talking about the latest Hollywood hit: “Planet of the Apes”.
Meanwhile in the University of Miami, a cardiovascular surgeon called Kazi Mobin-Uddin had just developed the newest medical marvel: The blood clot filter (Inferior Vena Cava Filter).
The device was a first of its kind and immediately received high praise by interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons and cardiologists alike.
What is an IVC Filter?
An IVC filter a small retrievable device designed to break up and filter any clots traveling up the body. It looks like a tiny metal spider and it is implanted directly in the Inferior Vena Cava (one of the largest veins in the body carrying deoxygenated blood from the lower part of the body, back to the heart).
Doctor Mobin-Uddin called it “The umbrella filter” and personally installed 100 of these filters in patients at risk of life-threatening pulmonary embolism – with what back then was an acceptable mortality rate of 19%.
In 2003, the FDA approved a new retrievable version of the filter and doctors all across the country have installed thousands of these devices at a rapidly growing rate.
In 1979 alone, 2000 filters were installed.
That number grew to 167,000 in 2007.
And the demand exploded to an estimated 259,000 filters deployed in 2012.
Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the IVC filters and their safety profile is not well established. In fact, they should only be used in select high-risk scenarios.
However, that’s not what’s happening… and the number of reports and horror stories related to IVC filters has also grown at an alarming rate. So much in fact, that by 2010, the FDA started to issue warnings about them.
The problem with IVC filters
Unfortunately, IVC filters have shown a pattern of failures that may cause implanted patients serious health risks and all sorts of life-threatening complications, like:
- Filter migration
- Filter fracture
- Embolization (movement of the entire filter or a part of it to the heart or lungs)
- Perforation of tissue, vessels and organs (including the IVC, heart and lungs)
- Cardiac/Pericardial tamponade (pressure caused by collected blood around the heart)
- Sudden death
Even more alarming is the fact that in many IVC filter patients, the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are actually increased AFTER the implant of an IVC filter.
The safety concerns over these devices continue to increase, and the FDA recently issued a series of warnings about IVC filters.
An analysis conducted in 2014 by the FDA states that, “the risk/benefit profile begins to favor removal of the IVC filter between 29 and 54 days after implantation”.
And recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Archives of Internal Medicine, show that most of the problems with IVC filters could be prevented if the filter is removed on time – once the risk of blood clots has passed.
Not only that, but it seems filters are sometimes implanted in inpatients that don’t really need them and simple blood-thinning medication would solve the problem.
Unfortunately, the greed of manufacturers and the indifference of the medical establishment are putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk.
In short, unsuspecting patients are being put at unnecessary risks. It. Has. To. Stop.
What can YOU do about it?
If you (or a loved one) has had any complications due to an IVC filter, you may be eligible for financial compensation.
The team at Consumer Alert Services has set up a short online survey to evaluate cases throughout the United States. They provide no-cost, no-obligation review to individuals who have IVC filter implants.
Click the button and take the 2 minute compensation survey now.
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