Additional Concerns Raised Over Safety of IVC Filters

ivc filters

IVC filters, also known as inferior vena cava filters, were originally created to prevent pulmonary embolism by blocking blood clots. Unfortunately, over the last several years many of the devices have proven to be defective.

They have either broken and resulted in internal organ damage to patients in whom they were placed, migrated to other parts of the body, or become stuck and embedded, leading to significant complications. Now a study has shown yet another problem with the devices: it has revealed that elderly patients with a history of pulmonary embolism have higher 30-day mortality than those who did not receive a filter.

Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed against manufacturers of IVC filters, accusing the companies of selling defective products that caused significant pain and suffering, as well as causing patients to require additional surgeries to remove the defective devices.

Now a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine is raising substantive questions about whether the implantation of the device makes any sense at all. The study showed that rather than preventing subsequent pulmonary embolisms, the use of the filters may actually increase the risk for both 30-day and one-year mortality.

Large Study Points to Increased Deaths with IVC Filter

The study involved over 214,000 elderly patients who had been hospitalized with acute pulmonary embolism during a three-year period between 2011 and 2014. Of that group, over 13 percent received one of the IVC filters. That group later proved to have a 30-day mortality of 11.6 percent, which was significantly higher than the 9.3% of patients who did not have an IVC filter implanted who had died within 30 days of the procedure.

An additional examined cohort of over 76,000 patients hospitalized for acute pulmonary embolism reportedly had 18.2% of their population implanted with an IVC filter, and that group also had higher odds of dying within both 30 days and within one year of the procedure when compared with the group that did not have the device installed.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.