What is an IVC Filter?

The IVC filter is a medical device that is embedded in the inferior vena cava (IVC), a large vein that transports blood from the lower body to the heart. It looks something like an umbrella with just the shaft and ribs but no covering. The filter is created to trap blood clots that often form in the deep veins in the legs and consequently break off and travel, via the IVC, to the heart and then to the lungs. If you or somebody you know are dealing with ivc complications you may contact a ivc filter lawyer immediately.

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolisms most often stem from the development of a blood clot in the deep veins in the legs. This is recognized as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). (The medical term for a blood clot is “thrombus.”) If the blood clot in a deep vein breaks off, it will be taken through the inferior vena cava to the heart. The heart pumps the blood up the trunk of the pulmonary artery, which divides into the left pulmonary artery and the right pulmonary artery. 

If the blood is carrying a clot, it will eventually reach a point where the arteries branch and grow narrower. The clot becomes too large to continue forward, which then blocks the artery. This is a pulmonary embolism. 

IVC Filter as a Treatment for Pulmonary Embolism

Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms are collectively known as venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE is usually treated with blood thinners like Heparin or other anticoagulants, like Coumadin. 

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