Sadly, many people also suffer from medical conditions that put them at risk for internal blood clots. These clots can be killers – particularly if they lodge in organs like the lungs, the heart and the brain.
For these people, physicians have long prescribed drugs that “thin” the blood making it much less likely to clot. These thinners actually make the blood corpuscles “slippery” – and clumping together much less likely.
What about those individuals who can’t tolerate the drugs?
To address that issue – medical device engineers designed filters that can be installed in critical human blood vessels to capture wayward, migrating clots. Installed in tens of thousands of patients, these filters have now been in use since 1979.
There’s just one problem – one class of these filters – called a retrievable IVC filter – has a tendency to break apart and/or break loose from the vessel where they are temporarily anchored with dire – and sometimes fatal consequences.
The full name for this filter is “Inferior Vena Cava filter” (IVC for short) and it is implanted in the very large vein (the inferior vena cava) that carries blood back to the heart from the lower extremities.