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IVC Filter Safety Questioned by NBC News Investigation

NBC Nightly News recently aired a report that has raised significant questions regarding the safety of a medical device known as an IVC filter. Specifically, the Recovery IVC filters made by BARD have been connected to at least 300 adverse events, including 27 deaths.chestxray

The report was just the first in a series the station plans to air in the coming days on these medical devices, which are implanted in thousands of Americans to reduce the risk of blood clots. It’s a 1.5-inch piece of metal that is inserted into the vena cava, a major vein, and has the ability to block blood clots from traveling to the heart or the lungs, where they have the potential to be fatal.

Journalists disclosed a 2004 confidential study commissioned by the maker of the product, C.R. Bard, in which it reveals this particular product had a higher rate of injury and fatalities when compared to those who used competitor product. These devices appear to be perforating, migrating, breaking or, in some cases, actually causing clogs rather than preventing clots. Despite this, Bard, a multinational product manufacturer, did not recall its product.

Despite the fact that researchers who conducted the study clearly stated further investigation of this matter was “urgently warranted.”

Boston IVC filter lawyers at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC, are prepared to take your case. We are familiar with the New Jersey-based C.R. Bard, and particularly its manufacture of defective vaginal mesh products, for which numerous lawsuits have been filed.

With regard to the IVC filter product, NBC highlighted a case of a 45-year-old single mother-of-two who had an IVC filter planted after a pelvic fracture that left her immobilized. But four months later, she suffered a severe headache and lost consciousness. She died on the way to the hospital, but first responders were able to resuscitate her. It was a full two days before doctors realized what had happened: A piece of the IVC filter had broken off, traveled down the vena cava and pierced her heart. The heart was not pumping correctly. She had to undergo emergency open-heart surgery. Doctors had to not only remove the broken piece, but drain the pool of blood that had collected around the heart.

It appears this was not an isolated incident. Hundreds have suffered similar experiences, and not all were as fortunate to survive. The NBC investigation was the culmination of more than a year’s work. That word of this product defect has yet to reach the public is deeply troubling, especially considering problems with this device have been known for more than a decade.

When this kind of scenario occurs, there are several theories of product liability on which victims may bring a case. One might be defective design. This is a form of strict product liability that alleges the design of the device was inherently flawed and dangerous. Another might be failure to warn. It seems this company was aware of major problems dating back to 2004, and yet did not commission further studies, issue a recall or warn the public of the risks.

If you have suffered ill effects as a result of an IVC filter, call our Massachusetts offices today.

Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Medical Device to Stop Blood Clots Associated with 27 Fatalities, Sept. 2, 2015, By Lester Holt, NBC Nightly News

More Blog Entries:

House Committee Investigating Safety of Warfarin, Sept. 7, 2015, Boston Product Liability Attorney Blog