Cook IVC Filters
Manufactured by Cook Medical, the Gunther Tulip and Celect IVC filters are designed to trap blood clots and prevent pulmonary embolisms. However, when they are not promptly removed, they can cause a number of serious – and potentially deadly – complications.
An Overview of Cook IVC Filters
Cook IVC filters are implanted into a patient’s inferior vena cava (IVC), which is a major blood vessel that’s responsible for carrying de-oxygenated blood to the heart and lungs. The filters are designed to capture blood clots from the lower part of the body before they enter the lungs, thus preventing a deadly pulmonary embolism.
IVC filters should be used in the short-term only. However, they are not always removed once the patient’s risk of a pulmonary embolism decreases. Once they’ve been in the body for three to four months, the risk of complications increases substantially. When Cook IVC filters remain in the body for long periods of time, the following complications are known to occur:
- The filter may migrate to another area of the body – lessening its effectiveness and causing potential organ damage.
- The filter may perforate or erode, damaging internal organs and the inferior vena cava. In fact, a recent study has linked Cook IVC filters with a 43% rate of vena cava perforation.
- A piece of the filter could break off and travel throughout the body, damaging the heart and lungs.
- Complications with the filter may prevent the surgeon from being able to remove it. When this occurs, the filter may need to stay in the body permanently.
- Excess fluid around the heart, also known as hemorrhagic pericardial effusion, may develop.
- In the most severe cases, complications associated with Cook IVC filters may even result in death.
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What damages can you recover from a lawsuit against Cook Medical?
Cook Medical is currently facing hundreds of lawsuits by individuals who were injured by their IVC filters. As such, if you have been injured or lost a loved one following complications associated with a Cook IVC filter, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. If you win, you may be entitled to recover damages for your:
- Medical bills. This will cover all of your medical bills –past, current and future. This includes hospital care, medical devices, ongoing care, doctor’s appointments and more.
- Lost wages. If you’ve been unable to return to work after your injury, or you needed to take a lengthy leave of absence, you may be entitled to be compensated for the income you would have earned, had you not been injured.
- Pain and suffering. When serious injuries occur, they typically accompany great physical challenges. These challenges will be covered by your pain and suffering damages, and will be determined based on the nature and extent of your injuries.
In addition, if a loved one has died as the result of injuries associated with a Cook IVC filter, you may be entitled to damages that cover funeral expenses, the loss of benefits and the loss of an inheritance. You may also be able to recover non-economic damages for intangible adverse effects like mental anguish, the loss of care and nurturing and the loss of love and companionship.