Last week, a lawsuit was filed against Cook Medical after allegations were made that their product, the Celect Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter caused injury to a patient in California. The victim, named Mary F., had the IVC filter placed into her inferior vena cava to prevent a blood clot from traveling to her lungs in 2013. The victim suffered a pulmonary embolism after the placement of the Celect Filter and has accused Cook Medical with negligence for failure to warn her about serious safety risks amongst other dangers.
IVC filters are a hooked, metal device often made of nitinol or stainless steel that prevent blood clots from traveling to the lungs. According to Cook Medical’s website, the Celect IVC filter served to prevent recurring pulmonary embolisms through placement in the vena cava, the large veins that carry deoxygenated blood to the heart. The Celect IVC filter is retrievable, allowing for its removal in patients who need the product for temporary purposes.
The Celect IVC filter is inserted into the vena cava through a small hole and the device expands once placed. The device was introduced to the public in 2008 as an improved version of the Gunther Tulip IVC Filter, the Celect’s predecessor released by Cook Medical over two decades ago. After the device settles and expands, it filters out blood clots and prevents them from reaching the lungs by catching them in what resembles several metal arms, stemming from a single hooked base. The insertion procedure is an outpatient procedure that usually requires an overnight hospital stay.
IVC filter such as Cook Medical’s Celect filter have for years been related to complications after the insertion procedure. Common complications include device migration, filter fracture, device perforation and pulmonary embolisms. In a study conducted by the Journal of Vascular Interventional Radiology in 2015, it was revealed that the Cook Medical IVC filter has a 43% perforation rate in patients. Another study in 2009 demonstrated that while the filters are retrievable, some patients experienced complications in the removal process as the filter had become fixed into the wall of the vena cava.
Prior to the lawsuit filed this past week, the Celect IVC filter has faced previous lawsuits as well. A patient filed a lawsuit against Cook Medical in 2016 after suffering severe injuries from the filter. The patient, also from California, underwent serious injuries after the Celect IVC filter broke and became permanently stuck in her heart.
After sustaining her injury, victim Mary F. accused Cook Medical of several faults, including negligence for failure to warn about serious safety risks, selling a dangerous medical device with defective design and breach of implied and express warranty. The victim’s lawsuit will be assembled along with the over 4,000 pending lawsuits for complications and injuries deriving from IVC filters.
The ongoing complications and side-effects linked to the Celect IVC filter are important to take into consideration if you or someone close to you have undergone a procedure involving the implementation of this device. If you think that you or a loved one have fallen victim to any of the adverse effects mentioned in this article due to the usage of the Celect IVC filter, you should immediately contact your doctor or surgeon. Then, contact one of our attorneys at Schneider Hammersand let us take care of your defective medical product case. We are committed to representing you effectively and strategically against medical manufactures to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.