Miami Doctor Inserts IVC Filter In Wrong Patient

Medical Devices

According to the Miami Herald, an administrative complaint with the Florida Department of Health against a Miami doctor for performing a surgical procedure on the largest vein in the body—on the wrong patient. 

After experiencing a car crash on Jan. 1, 2019, the 81-year-old patient was put in intensive care, whereupon he received an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. 

The IVC is the largest vein in the body, carrying blood from the lower body to the heart and lungs. An IVC filter is a small medical device that prevents blood clots from travelling in the bloodstream and into the lungs, which is why the devices are also referred to as ‘blood clot filters.’ The device itself is placed in the inferior vena cava. 

Typically, IVC filters are administered only when blood clots can’t be prevented by anticoagulant drugs. Blood clot filters may also be given to patients who are at a high risk of developing life-threatening clots—even if they take blood-thinning medication. 

Since 1979, IVC filters have been an FDA-approved medical device, both permanent or retrievable. However, there have been at least 14,000 claims filed over faulty IVC filter devices, which may cause several side effects, including but not limited to: chest pains, fainting, abnormal heartbeat and palpitation, migration of filter material to the heart, tissue and organ perforation, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). 

The Miami Herald says that the doctor who implanted the IVC filter in the wrong patient was issued his licence in 2006, which shows that his disciplinary record was previously clean.

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