Defective Blood Clot Filters Causing Injuries

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of George E. McLaughlin with McLaughlin Law Firm.

Defective Blood Clot Filters Causing Injuries
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Blood clot filters have been problematic since their inception. Defective or broken blood clot filters can result in serious health complications and expensive additional treatment to repair the damage caused by the filters, not to mention the risk posed by the filters themselves. The issue with blood clot filters is their tendency to break apart within the body, allowing dangerous pieces of metal to travel through the cardiovascular system, injuring the body from the inside as they go.

Blood clot filters, also known as IVC (inferior vena cava) filters, generally look like an upside-down umbrella made out of metal and are designed to prevent blood clots in the legs from moving. When there is a chance that a blood clot could move into a part of the body where it could cause harm, such as the heart, brain, or lung in conditions like deep vein thrombosis, these devices can literally be life savers. However, defective blood clot or IVC filters can cause extreme damage to a patient’s health, including severe injury and even death.

Common injuries sustained from defective blood clot or IVC filters include:

  • Perforation of the heart or lungs
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Bleeding
  • Lower limb DVT (Deep vein thrombosis)
  • Breathing problems
  • Punctured vena cava
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Scarring in the vein
  • Vessel occlusion
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Stroke
  • Death

Symptoms of damage caused by a defective blood clot filter could be felt right away, or they could take considerable time to surface. This is why it is important to check in frequently with your doctor after receiving an IVC filter to make sure everything is working as it is designed to, and also to have it removed as soon as possible, preferably 2-3 months after implantation if it is no longer necessary.

Signs that you might be suffering from a defective or broken blood clot filter:

  • Leg pain and swelling
  • Feeling of internal pressure in legs
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Ulceration in lower extremities
  • Chest pain
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in the abdomen or back
  • Abnormally fast heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Disorientation

If you experience any symptoms you think might be connected to an improperly working IVC or blood clot filter, contact your doctor immediately to seek care.

Filter defects and doctor error are two unfortunate causes of complications caused by IVC filters.

Defective filters might not open as they should, and could be more prone to breakage than other filters. It is the responsibility of a patient’s medical provider to make sure they avoid recalled filters and only use the filters which have been tried, tested, and found to be reasonably safe. Some issues with blood clot filters can arise when a doctor fails to properly implant the device.

In both of these situations, medical malpractice could be at play. While the majority of doctors are highly trained and committed to their patient’s wellbeing, healthcare professionals who make otherwise avoidable mistakes that cause severe harm to a patient should be held accountable, and victims of malpractice should seek compensation for their damages, physical, financial, and otherwise.

To learn more about symptoms and injuries associated with blood clot filters, or to discuss your eligibility for compensation, seek legal counsel.

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