IVC Filters Can Cause Serious and Fatal Injuries
Alabama IVC filter lawyers at Farris, Riley & Pitt have medical experts you need if you are pursuing a defective medical device claim. Many medical devices can cause injuries to the very patients they are designed to help. IVC filters are such devices. Unfortunately for some, IVC filters can cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent – pulmonary embolisms. Our attorneys have experience dealing with cases that involve pulmonary embolisms and the other injuries caused by IVC filters. Contact Alabama defective medical device lawyers if you think you have been injured and need to bring an IVC filter lawsuit. You can reach us at (888) 580-5176 for a free case evaluation.
What is a Pulmonary Embolism?
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that forms in or finds its way to the lungs. All embolisms have the capacity to block the flow of blood through the veins. A pulmonary embolism can damage the lungs because of this restriction. It can also decrease oxygen in the blood to dangerously low levels, which can seriously endanger other organs such as the heart. Large pulmonary clots or multiple blood clots can cause death.
Why Do People Develop a Pulmonary Embolism?
More often than not, a pulmonary embolism is caused by a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep vein thrombosis causes clots to form within veins deep inside the body. Typically, a dangerous clot that travels to the lungs originates deep in the arms or legs.
There are some factors that increase your risk of DVT and developing a pulmonary embolism. They include:
- family history
- personal medical history including stroke or heart problems
- recent surgery
- leg or hip break or fracture
- sedentary job or lifestyle
In Alabama, How Do You Know if You Have a Pulmonary Embolism?
Because a pulmonary embolism is in the lungs, the most common symptom is shortness of breath which may come on suddenly or gradually. Other symptoms may include:
- chest pain that resembles symptoms of a heart attack-may extend into your arm, jaw, neck, and shoulder
- irregular heartbeat
- lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting
- rapid breathing
- accelerated heartbeat
- unusual anxiety or restlessness
- clammy skin
- bluish skin
- spitting up blood
- slow or weak pulse
How Are IVC Filters Used to Treat and Prevent Pulmonary Embolism?
The course of treatment for any patient in Alabama and nationwide may depend the size and location of the blood clot. Factors like general health and timing can also play a part in determining how to deal with a pulmonary embolism. If your situation is minor and caught early, your doctor may try to treat you with a medication called an anti-coagulant. An anti-coagulant helps dissolve and prevent blood clots by thinning your blood and has a history of working well for many patients, especially those with a minor embolism.
A doctor may choose a surgical solution instead of prescribing medication when an embolism is particularly large and especially when it is on its way to the lungs. There are two types of surgery for this:
- Removal of the blood clot with a catheter
- Insertion of an Interior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter
The popular surgical treatment for a pulmonary embolism is the IVC filter. The IVC filter is built to resemble a cage or spider. It is inserted into the interior vena cava which is the main vein that brings blood from the lower body to the lungs. The filter is designed to catch blood clots in the vena cava and prevent them from ever reaching the lungs and causing damage.
Multiple Reported Problems with Alabama IVC Filters
In recent years, people have filed with the Food and Drug Administration over 900 adverse effect reports, citing problems with various IVC filters. IVC filters manufactured by C.R. Bard and by Cook Medical, Inc. are at the heart of hundreds of pending lawsuits. Patients claim that the Cook Celect, Gunther Tulip, Bard Recovery, G2 and G2 Express IVC filters are defectively designed and that the manufacturers failed to warn patients and doctors of the dangers caused by the devices.
There is some evidence that IVC filters can splinter, migrate, and pierce veins when the filters remain in the body longer than necessary. When IVC filters or their parts fragment or migrate they can cause bleeding, the need for risky surgery, and serious pain.
Contact Our Alabama Based IVC Filter Attorneys to Protect your Rights
If you suffer from DVT or another illness and have been injured by a medical device such as an IVC filter, contact our office to find out what rights you may have. Clients nationwide may be entitled to collect compensation to cover your medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Call the experienced IVC filter attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt at (888) 580-5176 today.