Firm News

Are IVC Filters Effective in Trauma Patients?

Publish Date : 12/07/2015

People who experience great physical trauma are often at a greater risk for blood clots. Traditionally, IVC filters have been used as a means of lowering blood clot risk in trauma patients, but a new study shows that IVC filters do not improve these patients’ chances of survival.

The removable IVC filter was introduced in 2005 to prevent pulmonary embolism (blood clots that can block the lungs) in patients who cannot be treated using traditional anticoagulation therapies such as warfarin or Xarelto. Unfortunately, over the last decade the FDA has received nearly 1,000 reports of adverse patient outcomes caused by defective IVC filters. These include reports of pieces of filters breaking off and creating embolisms in the brain, heart, and lungs.

In October of this year, researchers from the University of Michigan published a study which found that the placement of IVC Filters does not result in a survival benefit for trauma patients. The study, which took place over four years, looked at nearly 40,000 trauma patients to analyze the difference in outcomes between those who received an IVC filter and those who did not. The findings were remarkable. Researchers found no noticeable difference in the survival rates of people who had IVC filters implanted and those that did not. In fact, the patients who had IVC filters experienced an increase in rates of deep venous thrombosis.

This sort of ineffectiveness is particularly troubling in light of the failure rate of these devices. A study performed at York Hospital in Pennsylvania looked at the safety of implanted IVC filters. This study found that 16% of devices had fractured, and that in three-quarters of these instances, the pieces had travelled to the heart.

If you or a loved one has an IVC filter, now is the time to reach out to an attorney who can evaluate your case and see if you are eligible for compensation. The attorneys at McSweeney / Langevin focus on this type of litigation, and they are ready to help you. Give us a call today. When Injuries Strike / We Strike Back.


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