Inferior Vena Cava, or IVC, filters, were at an all-time high for use in 2010. However, since then, the filters have seen a steady decrease in use, primarily due to the fact that there is a safety warning related to their use and the risk of complications that was issued and remains in effect.
The IVC filter is implanted in the body’s largest blood vessel, the inferior vena cava. The intent is to catch blood clots before they have a chance to reach the lungs or heart.
However, a study following IVC trends from 2005 to 2014 showed a significant decline in the 36-year trend of implanting these filters in patients. The study was published in late 2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine. The reason for this decline may have something to do with a study also published in the same journal in 2010, one which showed there were high rates of complications in relation to the implantation of these filters and also led to a safety communication issued by the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, the same year.
Various issues were discussed in relation to these filters, including device migration and/or detachment, perforation of the veins and organs and also fracture of the device itself.
IVC filters were initially designed as permanent implants. However, newer models were designed with the intention of retrieval after a certain period of time. These filters were not retrieved, leaving them at higher risk of migration and also of fracturing within the patient’s body.
A new safety alert was issued in 2014 by the FDA, and it addressed this situation where patients were not having the temporary filters removed. The alert stated that patients could avoid potential health issues by having the filter removed roughly 29 to 54 days after implantation.
For those who did not get to the doctor during this period, it was important to arrange for removal before the seven-month mark, as at that point fracturing risk increased drastically.
For individuals who have severe back or abdominal pain, IVC thrombosis could be an issue. This is caused by unretrieved IVC filters and can lead to more serious medical issues.
At this point, a debate is occurring among those in the medical field. The filters are arguably the best treatment for blood clots. However, with the current rate of risk, some medical professionals advocate for finding another way to treat the condition until the usefulness greatly outweighs said risk.
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via Tumblr Use of the IVC Filter in the US Declines
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