IVC Filters all have the same basic purpose: capturing blood clots before they can move on through the circulatory system to major organs, where those clots could then potential cause additional harm or death. These devices are inserted into the inferior vena cava (IVC) and activated. Several companies produce IVC Filters, including C.R. Bard, Cook Medical, Boston Scientific/Meditech, and B. Braun Medical, Inc.
Some early styles were made of stainless steel and were meant to remain in place permanently. Modern styles are made from metal alloys like titanium, which would allow a patient to have an MRI procedure. They are lighter in weight and can be retrieved easily once the danger of clotting is over. IVC Filters are usually recommended for use in patients who are unable to tolerate use of anticoagulant medicines. They also are used after surgery and to help people who are prone to deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.
Bard IVC Filters
The C.R. Bard Company was founded over one hundred years ago, by Charles Russell Bard. His research into ways to treat urinary discomfort was strengthened by help from Dr. Frederick E. B. Foley. Together, they developed the Foley Catheter, the first balloon catheter. In later years, the company was sold, and new owners continued to produce innovative products for the medical industry. In 2003, Bard Peripheral Vascular, a subsidiary, was formed. Today, Bard serves the medical community worldwide, and has over 14,000 employees.
Bard IVC Filters are produced by the Bard Peripheral Vascular division, along with a variety of stents and other products for treatment of venous disease. Bard products include several types of Vena Cava Filters, although their Eclipse model is no longer made or sold in the United States. This particular model has been the subject of hundreds of lawsuits in recent years, due to product failures that caused personal injury.
There has been concern during recent years that some Bard IVC Filters can pose serious risks to patients, even though they are helpful in control of pulmonary emboli (PE). These devices are somewhat fragile, prone to fracturing and releasing metal shards that can then penetrate into the vein, heart, lungs or other organs. When this happens, the patient suffers additional pain, must have the device or part removed, and they may also die from this problem.
Bard Eclipse IVC Filter
The Bard Eclipse IVC Filter is no longer manufactured or distributed in the United States. The company previously offered two Bard optional Eclipse filters, their Femoral Delivery System and a Jugular/Subclavian Delivery System. The Eclipse is a retrievable cone-shaped metal device with long legs that expand to attach inside the large inferior vena cave, but only if that vein is less than 28mm in width. These large veins are found in the neck and groin areas of the body. A cap at the top of the filter traps blood clots and holds them in place until they are dissolved from anticoagulant medicines or natural coagulants in the blood.
The main objective for using IVC Filters is to prevent clots from passing on to harm major organs like the heart, lungs, brain or digestive system. They are recommended by Bard for use in emergency situations where there was danger of massive pulmonary embolism if benefits of conventional therapy were reduced.
IVC Filter Lawsuits
There have been many lawsuits filed by persons who experienced personal injury due to defective IVC Filters produced by Bard and other manufacturers. Lawsuits allege that the Bard IVC Filters had significantly high failure rates, with many cases in which the filter legs snapped off and then caused serious injury and additional health problems for patients. The major issue is negligent behavior by Bard, and that they did not disclose dangers and potential risks.
Over 900 reports of adverse events caused by inferior vena cava (IVC) filters influenced the FDA to issue a warning to health care professionals in 2010. Their recommendation was to remove IVC Filters as soon as possible, after immediate danger of blood clots was past. Significant problems caused by IVC Filter failures and fractures of their metal parts included deep vein thrombosis (DVT), filter migration, filter embolization and IVC perforation.
Hundreds of lawsuits with complaints about IVC Filters have been grouped into multidistrict legislation (MDL) in California, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Florida for handling, and it is expected that some will go to trial by 2017. Some individual cases have been settled by Bard, but most remain open for future decisions. Class action lawsuits are not likely to be available, due to the individual nature of each situation and complaints.
Typical Lawsuit Claims
When IVC Filters fail, there can be many different outcomes for patients. The device may fracture and then cause penetration of the vena cava or other organs. It could become detached and migrate to the heart, lungs or other organs, causing piercing or other harm. If the device becomes impossible to remove, the patient will suffer ongoing pain and potential additional harm.
One patient in Mississippi filed a lawsuit against Bard when his Eclipse filter tilted grossly and perforated the inferior vena cava. Several of the device legs moved outside the vein and two of them were against the abdominal aorta. In addition to those problems, the filter cannot be removed, so he is at risk for future embolization and fracture of metal parts. This lawsuit is currently pending.
In South Dakota, a woman, Amber Nordin, filed a lawsuit after her Bard Eclipse IVC filter migrated away from its 2012 implantation location and lodged in her internal organs. Surgery to remove the device in 2014 was unsuccessful, so it remains stuck inside her body. She now suffers from this potentially life-threatening condition and will need ongoing medical care.
Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have a Bard Eclipse IVC Filter implanted and are concerned about or have already experienced injury from this device, our Personal Injury Attorney is ready to provide the experienced legal advice and representation you need to obtain fair compensation. We know how to prepare and present a winning case for clients who have suffered harm due to someone else’s or a company’s negligent behavior. Call today for a free consultation with our Bard Eclipse IVC Filter Personal Injury Attorney.