Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) is the largest vein in the human body that helps carry de-oxygenated blood from lower extremities to the right atrium of heart and then finally to the lungs. An IVC filter is a small cone-shaped device that is entrenched in the inferior vena cava just beneath kidneys. The filter is specifically designed to restrain an embolism, a blood clot that has loosen from one of the deep veins in the legs on its path to lungs and heart. If IVC filters are not placed appropriately then it can cause blockage of the pulmonary artery; that carries deoxygenated blood from heart to lungs. The blockage of these arteries refers to as pulmonary embolism and can lead to various problems like difficulty in breathing, chest pain and even death.
Basically, IVC filter placement is an endovascular process i.e. the filter is inserted via a blood vessel. A local anesthetic is given to numb the area where the catheter is to be inserted. Serious complications can arise if an IVC filter leaves its original locations, fractures or fills with blood clots. When an IVC filter leaves its original site, it’s said to have migrated and if it moves to a major organ, it can even lead to life-threatening conditions. Medical device makers have a duty to proffer risk-free products and in case, any harm is associated with their devices, they must provide proper warnings. If a device maker is unable to fulfill this obligation, it can be held liable in lawsuits. If a patient dies due to the complications related to defective IVC filter, family members are entitled to compensation for the wrongful death.
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