In early December of 2018, twenty-seven people filed a lawsuit against the Cordis Corporation, the manufacturers of the OptEase® Vena Cava Filter, also known as an IVC filter. The plaintiffs allege that these defective IVC filters have resulted in life-threatening blood clots and other serious injuries.
Because of the nature of the filter, some of the plaintiffs cannot have it removed, as it has become embedded in the walls of the vena cava, and removing it is too dangerous. These patients have not only suffered life-threatening injuries, but the filter causing these injuries – and possible future incidents – must stay in their bodies for the rest of their lives. It is like having a time bomb in the body.
Other lawsuits have also been filed, including those filed by survivors of patients who died from rupture of the vena cava due to defective IVC filters.
IVC stands for “inferior vena cava,” the body’s largest vein carrying deoxygenated blood from the lower portions of the body to the heart’s right atrium. IVC filters are web-like devices inserted into the inferior vena cava, that are supposed to trap blood clots so they cannot reach the lungs.
IVC filters have been in use for half a century but were never designed to stay in the inferior vena cava permanently. They are supposed to be removed within approximately one to two months of implantation.
However, many surgeons are not removing them within that deadline, resulting in numerous adverse effects. These include:
The lawsuits filed against Cordis are just the tip of the iceberg, because the failure rates of the IVC filters are very high. In a small study, half of the patients with an IVC filter implantation had a fractured device within roughly four years of implantation.
In addition, in 2011 Cordis had to recall 33,000 IVC filters because of the way the device was labeled. The label’s instructions could cause doctors to install the IVC filter backwards, which could make the filter move toward the heart.
Other studies show that, although the IVC filter was designed to stop blood clots, resulting in thrombosis, they actually increased the likelihood of a patient suffering thrombosis from a blood clot. According to the Annals of Surgery, twice the number of patients receiving an IVC filter developed pulmonary thrombosis – a blood clot in the lungs – or died, compared to those patients who did not receive an IVC filter.
Medical devices are supposed to help, not harm you. If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a defective Cordis IVC filter, or if your loved one died because of the device, you need the services of the experienced New Jersey Defective IVC Filter lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or contact us online. We represent clients in New Jersey, as well as Delaware County, Chester County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania.