But what is the inferior vena cava, anyway? And why is it inferior?
In truth, there is no inferiority complex involved. In fact, there are two venae cavae - two large veins that carry deoxygenated blood to the heart. The ‘inferior’ (lower) vena cava carries blood from the lower body to the heart, while the ‘superior’ (upper) vena cava carries blood from the upper half of the body.
In medical terminology, one is known as ‘inferior,’ while the other is known as ‘superior.’ Both are vital to blood flow and ultimately, survival. However the inferior vena cava remains the focus for blood clots that can form in the legs and travel up the inferior vena cava to the heart and lungs. Anti-coagulants (blood thinners) are most often used to thin the blood and help prevent blood clots and stroke. However, patients who cannot tolerate blood thinners become prime candidates for the inferior vena cava filter - a device placed within the inferior vena cava and designed to entrap a wandering blood clot, and hold it in place so it doesn’t travel to the heart or lung.
However, as you have read previously there have, and continue to be problems with IVC filters, which have been known to migrate from its initial insertion point and travel to the heart. Struts have been known to break off and undertake a similar migration to the heart, where the small, sharp struts have punctured the heart or become imbedded in tissue, providing a grievous and ongoing health threat to the patient.
Many have died.
The Bard IVC filter has become the flashpoint for the issue. C.R. Bard is alleged to have known about problems with its original retrievable filter, but failed to undertake a recall and sat on the concern for some time before releasing what was purported to be an improvement over the original, problematic filter. However, critics have been suggesting that the Bard G2 IVC filter - the new and improved version - turned out to be not much better than the filter it was meant to replace. Many an IVC filter lawsuit has targeted C.R. Bard.
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Following an angiogram, it was determined that a new clot had formed, but that the Celect IVC filter had tilted, contributing to the formation of DVT in her left leg.
The proposed class action IVC lawsuit is Olenda Homes v. Cook Medical, Inc. et al, Case No. 5:16-cv-00066-GNS, filed May 6, 2016 in the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.
IVC filter plaintiffs with Cook Medical, C.R. Bard and other manufacturers in their sights, allege defective products. The majority of retrievable filters, designed to temporarily ward against blood clots and then removed once the danger has passed, cannot be retrieved successfully, posing a continuing health risk to patients.