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NBC Nightly News Investigates the Safety of Bard IVC Filters

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Los Angeles, CAMedical complications and the safety record associated with CR Bard IVC Filters are the subject of a shocking NBC Nightly News two-part investigative report, with second part set to air tonight. The report investigates the near death of Dodi Froehlich as a result of her BARD IVC Recovery Filter implant breaking and piercing her heart. In its evaluation of the safety of the device, NBC notes that it is already linked with at least 27 fatalities. The filters have been implanted in thousands of people across the US.

IVC filters are small, spider-like devices which are surgically inserted into the inferior vena cava to prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs. But these devices can suffer from fatigue, causing them to fail and fracture, ultimately migrating through the body causing damage which could be life-threatening. Complications due to a failure of an IVC filter can include pulmonary embolus, severe and constant pain in the chest, heart or other parts of the body, respiratory distress, tissue perforation, organ perforation, vessel perforation, and hemorrhage.

According to some experts, there is a very high failure rate with these devices, which increases over the length of time the filter is in the body. Eventually all of the devices will fail, so a 100% failure of the device becomes not a question of “if” but “when.”

However, as NBC Nightly News reports, the CR Bard IVC Recovery Filter has higher rates of death, filter fracture and filter movement than any of its competitors, and despite being aware of potential product defects, the company has not recalled the device.

In May 2014, the Food and Drug Administration warned doctors regarding the filters, stating they should be removed from patients within one to two months after the risk of a pulmonary embolism has passed. The FDA noted that many doctors were not adequately warned about the importance of removing the devices.

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