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If a blood clot gets into the heart or lungs, it may cause a pulmonary embolism. A blood clot device such as Inferior Vena Cava may help trap blood clots and keep them from traveling to other body parts. However, experts recommend the removal of the filters when the device has cured the problem, which is commonly two to three months, to reduce complications.

Major complications with IVC

New IVC filters have not always shown a decrease in complications. This is because symptoms may not be recognized until much later if the patient never gets a follow up. In addition, many doctors do not have training to recognize complications.

Some patients have experienced pain due to the device twisting and puncturing vessel walls. In some cases, a deep incision had to be made to remove the filter. New procedures allow the device to be removed less in less invasive ways.

Major symptoms make up less than 1% of cases, and they may include slight bleeding or small clots on the insertion area. An adjacent artery may get punctured, or the insertion site could get infected. In rare situations, a filter can be placed incorrectly.

Other complications

Some complications occur because of the filter itself. Filters might move to another body area, which is called migration. Many doctors consider a filter migrated if it moves more than 2 centimeters from the insertion area. Migration occurs for a number of reasons, such as large arteries, but this issue only occurs less than 1% of the time.

An IVC device may not open completely, which is commonly a doctor error. The Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy Journey reported in 2016 that failure to open happens in between 0.7 and 13.9% of cases. Most of the cases involve the titanium Greenfield filter. Filters could also fracture if they have been in for a year or more, or they may puncture veins from being left in too long.

A defective IVC device could cause serious issues. A mass tort claim might be effective at winning a lawsuit against the company that makes the defective device.