Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Health Canada Issues Serious Complication Risk Warning on IVC Filters

Health Canada Issues Serious Complication Risk Warning on IVC Filters

Health Canada recently issued a warning of “Serious Risks of Complication” arising from the surgical use of Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters. The warning targeted a wide range of healthcare professionals, including radiologists, cardiologists, vascular surgeons, thrombosis specialists, internists, emergency physicians, bariatric surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, and primary care physicians — any physicians who request or implant IVC filters as well as clinicians responsible for follow-up care.

As of June 6, 2016, Health Canada had received 121 incident reports of serious complications associated with IVC filters, including caval perforation, caval thrombosis, filter fracture and fragment embolization, intracardiac migration, cardiac perforation, cardiac tamponade, and death in patients who have been implanted with IVC filters. Many of these complications occurred with long-term (greater than 30 days) filter implantation. These complications have also been reported internationally, including in the United States.

Further, the Board stressed that

Retrievable IVC filters are intended for short-term placement and, when possible, should be removed when anticoagulation therapy can be started or if a patient’s risk of PE subsides.

Health Canada strongly encouraged every hospital to “identify all patients who have a retrievable IVC filter placed and to develop a formal strategy to assess these patients for filter removal.”

Health Canada did indicate that IVC filters would be appropriate for patients with certain types of blood clots who cannot be treated with anticoagulant drugs, but stressed that the retrievable filters are intended for temporary use only. Patients with retrievable IVC filters were encouraged to talk to their healthcare professionals about when the filters could be removed.

Contact Lieff Cabraser

If you or a loved one have been injured by an IVC filter, you may be eligible to file a claim and seek compensation for your medical care, both past and expected, your past and future lost earnings and loss of earnings capacity, and compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and physical impairment.

Please feel free to visit our IVC Filter Injuries case page to contact Lieff Cabraser for a free, prompt, no-obligation evaluation of your case.

About Lieff Cabraser

Recognized as “one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms” by The American Lawyer, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a sixty-plus attorney law firm with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Nashville. Our firm has successfully represented thousands of patients across America in individual lawsuits due to the injuries they suffered from defective medical devices, including the IVC filter. U.S. News and Best Lawyers named Lieff Cabraser as their 2015 “Law Firm of the Year” for representing plaintiffs in class actions and mass torts.