Hi. I’m Roger Ghai, and I wanted to talk today a little bit about the IVC filters. The IVC filters are known as the Inferior Vena Cava filters. The purpose is is that sometimes folks get what we call embolisms. And, when the blood thinning drugs do not work, we don’t want that embolism to go into the lungs or the heart and cause of death or stroke or anything of that nature. So the filters are for the purpose of preventing those blood clots from going all the way up to the lungs or the heart, or it could be actually a thrombo venous embolism, which is in the leg. And we want to also prevent that.
The problem with the filters is that over time they have been shown to break off, corrode and so forth. And so the filter themselves are made out of metal. And as you might imagine, if one of those metal pieces were to break off and then enter the heart or the lungs or anything like that, it could be catastrophic actually for the client.
So the present status of the litigation is that there have been several verdicts against the various manufacturers of those filters. A lot of the verdicts have been favorable for the plaintiffs. We do anticipate that there’s going to be a settlement probably in the next two years, at least two years, of those cases. And the other thing that we want to look at in those cases is the type of filter that you have.
As to the danger of these filters, again, the various pieces can break off and the doctors and the medical community in the United States are basically coming out and saying that there are just too many patients who are being prescribed the filters.
The problem with the filters is if they do break off and they lodge in a difficult place in the body, such as near the heart or lungs or something of that nature, sometimes unfortunately the filter itself or those pieces cannot be removed. Because if a surgery is attempted to remove it, the person could pass away, those types of things. So you may have had a filter placed in your body for whatever reason, an embolism to prevent it, heart, lung, deep vein thrombosis, you may not actually right now have experienced any bad side effects from the filter. The problem is this, that in approximately 80% of those cases where the person had the device implanted, the diagnostic testing is showing that the filter has already migrated. So many times, even though you might be walking around feeling just fine thinking the filter is just fine, you probably want to consult with a lawyer because he’s still more likely than not, are going to have a claim for damages because the filter has migrated.
If you have any questions about these filters, about whether you’re entitled to be compensated for them or the type of filter that you have, please call my office at (770) 792-1000.