Reports show defective IVC filters may break apart and travel through the body

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Helen Jones
Executive Vice President 

It is estimated that more than 250,000 IVE filter devices are implanted in patients each year, however only a small percentage are removed once no longer medically necessary. Beginning in 2010, the FDA, because of concerns that the device may cause severe complications for patients, recommended that any filters that are retrievable should be removed “as soon as protection from [pulmonary embolism] is no longer needed.” IVC filters are frequently used in hip and knee replacement surgery because those patients are at risk for developing Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolisms.

Patients implanted with a Cook or Bard retrievable filter have reported serious injury caused by the device. Injuries reported include: fracture of the filter leading to additional surgeries, migration of the device within the inferior vena cava, perforation of the inferior vena cava, and embolization (detachment of device components).

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