IV Clot Filters Could Pose Risk if Left in the Body

Medical filters used to prevent blood clots should be removed from the body as soon as the clot risk has passed, says an advisory report from FDA.The warning comes because of 900 reports about problems with these filters collected since 2005. Problems can arise when filters are left inside veins too long. The devices can shift, and pieces can break off, drift through the bloodstream and perforate vital organs including the heart, according to adverse event reports.

August 10, 2010

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IV Clot Filters Could Pose Risk if Left in the Body

"It's thought that too many retrievable filters stay in permanently because patients are lost to follow-up," or doctors don't know problems can occur when the devices are left in long-term, the FDA's Dr. Bram Zuckerman said in a phone interview with the Associated Press on Monday. He is director of CDRH's Division of Cardiovascular Devices.

There have been no recalls. FDA says it will issue a final statement once it completes an analysis of data on filter problems.

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