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IVC Blood Clot Filter Lawsuits Filed in Canada

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Vancouver, Canada: Two defective product class action lawsuits have been filed in Canada against Cook Medical, the makers of IVC Filters Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters alleged to fragment inside the body causing serious, potentially life threatening medical issues.

The IVC filter is so named after the inferior vena cava, a primary artery. Patients who do not tolerate blood thinners and are at risk for stroke will often have an IVC filter implanted in the inferior vena cava to “catch” a meandering blood clot before it can migrate to the lung.

IVC filters are used temporarily until the threat of blood clots have passed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the filters should be removed from the patient’s body within 29-54 days to prevent possible health issues.

According to a study published in JAMA (4/8/13), although the retrievable IVC filters are designed to offer temporary protection, many are left implanted indefinitely. The authors conducted a review of IVC filter use from August 1, 2003 through February 28, 2011 and found that of 679 retrievable IVC filters, only 58 were successfully removed. Thirteen patients had unsuccessful retrieval events. Meanwhile, 74 patients had thrombotic events after IVC filter placements. Researchers concluded that use of IVC filters for certain uses resulted in "suboptimal outcomes."

In one of the Canadian IVC filter class actions, a plaintiff alleges that she had the device temporarily implanted on August 2013, as a precaution to help prevent blood clots. However, during the removal surgery the doctors discovered the device had moved to another location in her body and could not be removed as the procedure was determined to be too risky.

In the other class action, the plaintiff alleges that removal of the IVC filter was unsuccessfully attempted twice. A third surgery was scheduled but was deemed too risky and did not happen. The plaintiff claims he suffered dizzy spells because the device was actually clogging blood flow in his body.

The allegations made by plaintiffs in two class action suits are that the filters were defectively manufactured since they have fragmented while inside the patient’s body or have come loose and migrated to other parts of the body, thus creating serious and ongoing medical issues. The fragments of the filter have the potential to puncture veins or become caught in the intestines.

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Published on Jun-20-16


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