IVC filters are the subject of thousands of lawsuits alleging the devices are defective in design and manufacture. A new recent study found the devices provide absolutely no benefit to patients. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The study looked specifically at trauma patients who were implanted with IVC filters. The filters are designed to catch any blood clots before they travel into the heart and lungs and cause further complications. Because trauma patients have lacerations and other wounds, they cannot take anticoagulants to manage their risk of blood clots.
The study found trauma patients who survived at least 24 hours after the time of injury saw no decrease in death rates regardless of whether or not the patient had an IVC filter implanted. To make matters worse, the study also found only 8% of patients had their filter removed within 3.8 years after implantation.
The FDA has repeatedly warned patients and doctors that IVC filters should immediately be removed after the threat of blood clots has passed. The agency recommended the devices be removed between 29 and 54 days after implantation. The longer the device remains in the body, the greater the risk of device failure.
In light of the recent study, some doctors believe the use of IVC filters in trauma patients should be reexamined. If they are not providing any benefit and come with incredibly high risks, they should not be placed in trauma patients.
Studies have now shown IVC filters can perforate the walls of the inferior vena cava, break into pieces, migrate throughout the body, and attach themselves to vital organs like the heart and lungs. For some patients, removal of the defective filter is deemed too risky, and they must continue to suffer complications related to the defective devices.