When 68-year-old Marino Convertino had an IVC filter implanted in October 2012, he believed it would help to prolong his life. But less than four years later, he was rushed to the emergency room of his local hospital with lightheadedness and severe pain in his back and legs, and within hours he had died of thrombosis. His widow, Carmine Convertino, blames his death on the device, which was manufactured by Cordis Corporation of Miami Lakes, Florida.
IVC filters were first introduced onto the American medical scene back in the 1960s, when they were touted as an effective way of filtering out dangerous blood clots that were headed to the heart and lungs. Though the FDA’s original approval for their use was to prevent pulmonary embolism and thrombosis, manufacturers made revisions to the devices to allow them to be removable, and they began to be promoted for off-label purposes: they were marketed for use in patients being treated for bariatric surgeries, orthopedic surgeries, cancer surgeries, and trauma. Over the years the devices have proven to be dangerous: they’ve fractured, migrated and disintegrated, causing significant injury and patient death. As a result, lawsuits are being filed against IVC filter manufacturers all around the country.
Study Shows High Failure Rate of IVC Filters
In October of 2015, a study appeared in the Annals of Surgery that reported that patients who’d had IVC filters implanted had twice the percentage of pulmonary thrombosis or death as those who had not. Another study indicated that TrapEase filter that Mr. Convertino had been given had a 23 percent fracture rate after 46 months. Another study showed that after four years the fracture rate was 64 percent. As a result of this high failure rate, the use of IVC filters has dropped off over the past few years. This shift was likely furthered by a Food and Drug Administration device safety advisory warning of its dangers.