IVC filters are supposed to reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism in patients who can’t tolerate anticoagulant medications or blood thinners. However, a new study reveals that IVC filters may not be as effective as manufacturers want us to believe. In fact, IVC filters may not “significantly reduce the incidence” of pulmonary embolism, at all.

Study of 240 Severely Injured Patients

Researchers focused on 240 severely injured patients who were susceptible to blood clots. These patients were contraindicated for anticoagulants. In other words, they wouldn’t respond well to blood thinners and needed alternative treatment. For decades, IVC filters have been the alternative treatment of choice. Researchers point out that this is true, “despite a lack of high-quality evidence to support [the device’s] efficacy.”

The patients all received an IVC filter implant within 72 hours of suffering an injury. What researchers discovered is that the device didn’t do much to reduce the risk of a pulmonary embolism or death after 90 days. These patients were just as vulnerable to pulmonary embolism after getting an IVC filter as they’d been prior to receiving the implant.

Experts Say IVC Filters Are Costly and Risky

Medical professionals are beginning to speak out about IVC filters. One doctor recently explained that IVC filters are challenging to insert and place. The procedure requires “an interventional radiologist to make sure these devices are placed at the correct position and removed without causing complications.” In other words, the risk of injury or complications is high if the device isn’t put in correctly.

Some studies have also revealed that IVC filters are defective, regardless of how they’re placed in the body. So, IVC filters have to be placed in the body very carefully. Even then, they might be defective and cause injury. Now, it’s revealed that the device may not even work as intended, after all.

Injured Patients Continue to Sue IVC Filter Manufacturers

Tens of thousands of IVC filter patients have filed lawsuits over injuries they claim to have suffered because of defects related to their medical devices. The IVC filter lawsuits involve several different devices, including, among others:

The lawsuits claim that these devices are defective because they fracture, migrate, shift, and tilt in the body after they’re implanted. As a result, IVC filter patients claim to have suffered a wide range of injuries. These can range from perforated organs to infection to death. Several lawsuits have gone to trial and yielded positive results for the plaintiffs.