A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on April 28, 2015 found that retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters offered no additional benefit to patients at risk of developing potentially deadly blood clots that could lead to pulmonary embolisms over simply using anticoagulants.
Nearly two dozen French researchers conducted the study on 399 patients between August 2006 and January 2013. 200 would be put on anticoagulation medication for at least six months and would be implanted with an IVC filter that would be retrieved after three months, while another 199 would only be placed on medication for at least six months.
During the trial, 193 patients were successfully implanted with their IVC filters, and doctors successfully removed 153 out of the 164 filters they attempted to retrieve. At the three month mark, six patients fitted with an IVC filter died from pulmonary embolism, compared to three in the group only taking the anticoagulation medication. The results were similar at the six month mark as well.
At the conclusion of their study, the researchers determined that:
“[T]he use of a retrievable inferior vena cava filter plus anticoagulation compared with anticoagulation alone did not reduce the risk of symptomatic recurrent pulmonary embolism at 3 months. These findings do not support the use of this type of filter in patients who can be treated with anticoagulation.”
Medical professionals implant thousands of IVC filters in patients every year in hospitals across the United States, but without a clear benefit over simply prescribing anticoagulation medication, the risk may dramatically outweigh the seemingly nonexistent benefits.
Not only does this study show that there may be no actual benefit to this surgery, there are a number of potentially deadly side effects of flawed IVC filters, including the puncture of surrounding organs. If you or a loved one has suffered from any of these side effects, contact the Houston drug and medical device injury attorneys at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC today. Our team has successfully recovered more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients since our firm opened, and continue to fight for the rights of people who have been needlessly injured or killed. Call us to speak with one of our attorneys, or fill out the form on our website to schedule your free consultation.