In their most recent investigative news report on the matter, NBC News takes a deeper look into the defective blood clot filters associated with over two dozen deaths and hundreds of complications in patients, now claiming that major device manufacturer C.R. Bard – whose devices reported more complications than any of their competitors’ – knew that their products were potentially harmful to patients, but continued to sell them to the public anyway.The spider-shaped filters, implanted in the largest vein in the body — called the inferior vena cava — were designed to stop blood clots from moving to the heart and lungs, and are implanted into patients who are at risk for blood clots, but are unable to take blood-thinning medication. These devices are implanted in approximately 250,000 people each year, most without incident. C.R. Bard is one of eleven companies that manufacture these devices.
However out of those eleven companies, Bard is the one that has been under FDA and public scrutiny for their IVC filters after an alarming number of reports filed by surgeons and doctors have indicated that the company’s devices were causing serious problems in patients who received them.
In 2010, the FDA warned about the potential threat of filter fracture, device migration and organ perforation after they received more than 900 reports of adverse events associated with the Bard filters, events which included:
- 70 filter perforations
- 328 device migrations
- 56 filter fractures
- 146 embolisms
NBC News reported that they reviewed confidential internal documents showing that C.R. Bard executives had concerns about one of their IVC filter models soon after it was approved, but decided to sell it to the public anyway. There was even a confidential study commissioned by Bard that showed that the device was linked to higher rates of fracture and migration than any of its competitors.
“What we’ve learned the hard way is that we can no longer rely on medical device companies to do what’s in the best interest of the patient. And we can no longer rely on the FDA to properly regulate these devices.”
So if we can no longer rely on the device companies to follow the law, and the FDA is seemingly doing little to hold the companies accountable, the question that begs to be asked is: Who is looking out for the well-being and safety of the American public?
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective IVC filter, we may be able to help. Contact our office today at (205) 324-1212 for a free consultation with Nate or one of the other experienced attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt.