IVC filters are inserted into a patient who may be at risk of having a blood clot travel to the lungs, which can result in an often deadly pulmonary embolism. The filters made by a couple of manufacturers are now being found to be defective and are causing blood clots (through deep vein thrombosis) that they were meant to prevent. To see a recent article on this development Click Here.
This device was intended to be a temporary measure for patients who cannot tolerate anticoagulant medications (such as Xarelto). However, two problems have become apparent. First, IVC filters are prone to breakage, allowing small metal pieces to travel through the cardiovascular system and become lodged in tissues and puncture internal organs, with potentially fatal consequences. Secondly, the devices are very difficult to remove.