A California woman has filed a lawsuit against Cook Medical alleging that its Celect inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is defective and led to serious injuries. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that a piece of the device broke off and became lodged in the heart. The suit was filed on Aug. 22, 2016 in the Central District of California. IVC filters are used to trap blood clots before they can reach the heart or lungs. Some IVC filters are permanent while others are retrievable, meaning they should be removed once the risk of a clot subsides.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was implanted with a Cook Celect IVC filter in January 2008. She had been diagnosed with extensive thrombosis, where a blood clot had formed in her body. The IVC was placed in an effort to prevent pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening condition where a blood clot breaks free from the veins and becomes stuck in the lungs. IVC filters are usually used in patients who cannot take oral anticoagulants.
The Cook Celect is a retrievable IVC filter that is intended for removal once the risk of pulmonary embolism has passed. The plaintiff says that in October 2015, the device was still in her body when she went to Stanford University Medical Center. According to her lawsuit, physicians discovered that two limbs and one arm of the filter had broken off and lodged into the right side of her heart. Allegedly, the filter also migrated from its original location.
The suit states that physicians attempted to remove the filter, but were unable to remove everything successfully. One fractured arm remained in the plaintiff’s heart. Physicians made another attempt to remove the arm in November 2015, but ultimately decided to stop because they felt the injuries were complex and the fragment could not be removed without causing additional complications.
The plaintiff alleges that these complications have forced her to undergo extensive medical care, leading to significant expenses, along with pain and suffering. Her lawsuit alleges that Cook Medical defectively designed the device, and failed to warn patients and their physicians about the risks.
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