Every day Texans go to the hospital to have medical devices implanted in their bodies. Normally these medical devices are safe -- the product of lengthy testing, sound manufacturing and capable surgery. But it only takes a small mistake at any of these stages for problems to arise. One such device may be inferior vena cava filters.
An IVC filter is a tiny, spider-shaped medical device that goes in a patient's primary artery, the inferior vena cava. The filter blocks blood clots from traveling from the lower extremities toward the heart and respiratory system.
For the majority of cases, an IVC filter is temporary. Most people only need them if they are undergoing certain surgeries that include the risk of blood clots that can lead to a pulmonary embolism.
But while these filters are meant to do good, recent accidents suggest they may sometimes do harm instead. Take a recent example. An elderly man had the filter implanted. But the filter has become lose and moved toward his heart. After a touch-and-go surgery, the filter was removed.
But this man was lucky, according to the surgeon who has removed thousands of the filters in the last decade. That is because these filters are extremely difficult to remove, especially when the filters move from their original location.
Worse, the manufacturer has known about the problems for years and pressed forward anyway, according to an NBC News Investigation. That decision has had dire consequences for nearly 30 people.
When a medical device hurts or kills a Texan, that person (or their family in case of death) may have legal options, including filing a wrongful-death suit. To learn more about whether that choice is right for them, Texans may benefit from speaking with an experienced medical-device attorney.