Inferior Vena Cava Filter Presents Significant Risks of Failed Retrieval

The Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter is a small, metal device and has been used since the 1960s. Approximately 259,000 filters have been inserted as a temporary measure to impede blood clots from travelling to the lungs or heart. Some patients are unable to tolerate anticoagulant or blood thinners therefore, the IVC is used as an alternative, according to the Mayo Clinic.

However, there are complications linked to IVC filters including filter migration, clotting, breakage of parts of the filter, which can lead to intense pain, bleeding and possible life-threatening complications. When broken-off parts of an IVC filter can enter the inferior vena cava, the aorta, or the duodenum (the part of the small intestine closest to the stomach), there is a serious risk, PubMed reports.

A recent report from PubMed concerning failed IVC retrievals are: 9 failures due to the inability to snare the hook, unusual procedural pain, while median duration of retrieval was 32 days compared to 53 days for failure.

Retrievable IVC filters are only intended for short-term placement. The FDA recommends retrievable devices be removed between the 29th and 54th day after the device is implanted, says drugwatch.

In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a safety alert regarding retrievable IVC filters. The FDA received 921 reports of adverse events from 2005-2010. Most of the adverse events, 35 percent involved device migration. Migration occurs when filters travel from their intended location. The FDA listed this as the second most frequently reported complication.

The Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter is a small, metal device and has been used since the 1960s.’ Approximately 259,000 filters have been inserted as a temporary measure to impede blood clots from travelling to the lungs or heart. Some patients are unable to tolerate anticoagulant or blood thinners therefore, the IVC is used as an alternative, according to the Mayo Clinic.

However, there are complications linked to IVC filters including filter migration, clotting, breakage of parts of the filter, which can lead to intense pain, bleeding and possible life-threatening complications. When broken-off parts of an IVC filter can enter the inferior vena cava, the aorta, or the duodenum (the part of the small intestine closest to the stomach), there is a serious risk, PubMed reports

A recent report from PubMed concerning failed IVC retrievals are: 9 failures due to the inability to snare the hook, unusual procedural pain, while median duration of retrieval was 32 days compared to 53 days for failure.

Retrievable IVC filters are only intended for short-term placement. The FDA recommends retrievable devices be removed between the 29th and 54th day after the device is implanted, says drugwatch.

In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a safety alert regarding retrievable IVC filters. The FDA received 921 reports of adverse events from 2005-2010. Most of the adverse events, 35 percent involved device migration. Migration occurs when filters travel from their intended location. The FDA listed this as the second most frequently reported complication.

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