September 29, 2016 — A new study has found that IVC filters do not improve survival for trauma patients, and may actually increase long-term risks because the filters are rarely removed.
Only 8% of IVC filters were removed during the 3.8 year follow-up, which is concerning. Researchers said the filters should be removed as soon as a trauma patient can take a blood-thinning medication.
The FDA also recommends removing IVC filters as soon as possible, ideally within 29-54 days. The longer they remain implanted, the higher the risk of filter fracture, organ perforation, and blood clots.
According to Dr. Shayna Sarosiek:
“Overall, these data indicate that IVC filters should not be placed in trauma patients in an effort to decrease all-cause mortality.”
The study was published in JAMA Surgery by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine. Conclusions were based on 451 trauma patients who received an IVC filter vs. 1,343 who did not.
A number of other studies have questioned the routine use of IVC filters in trauma patients. One study published last year in the Annals of Surgery also found no survival benefit, but an 83% increased risk of blood clots in the legs.
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