Understanding IVC Filter Complications

When a patient has a higher risk for developing a life-threatening blood clot or continues to have clotting issues while on a blood-thinning medication, a doctor may recommend implanting an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. An IVC filter is a retrievable device that helps prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. Without the IVC filter, the blood clots may migrate to the lungs.

Safety Warnings

While doctors have recommended IVC filters as far back as the 1970s, the FDA released a warning about its safety risks in 2010 after receiving over 900 adverse event reports. Four years later, the FDA released a safety communication to doctors, recommending the filter’s removal once a patient is no longer at risk for pulmonary embolism. According to the FDA’s statement, the IVC filter should be removed within 29 to 54 days of the initial procedure.

But two years later, a study by the American College of Cardiology discovered that doctors fail to monitor patients after implanting an IVC filter and don’t provide them with adequate information about the device. Subsequently, in spite of the FDA’s two warnings, retrieval rates remain low.

Between the initial implant, retrieval and long-term use beyond the FDA’s recommendations, IVC filters pose several serious complications.

During the Procedure

As with any surgical procedure, implanting an IVC filter comes with certain risks:

  • A patient may experience some bleeding or bruising about the access site.
  • The filter may puncture a blood vessel.
  • Doctors have been known to incorrectly place the filter in the body, including how it’s positioned and where it’s placed.
  • The filter may not deploy correctly.

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Driving & Walking Dangers of Pothole Season

Many New Englanders cannot wait for spring to arrive. After a long winter, we can finally see the grass and pavement again! However, spring is also the time when potholes begin popping up on our local roadways. Potholes form when water seeps below the pavement, freezes and expands, cracking the asphalt above. Whether you’re on foot, two or four wheels, what should you know about the dangers of potholes?

For Drivers

According to AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter, driving over a pothole can cause hundreds to thousands of dollars in damage to the vehicle:

  • Tires
  • Suspension
  • Alignment
  • Exterior

Unfortunately, drivers often do not notice a pothole in the road until it’s too late. If you attempt to make a quick maneuver to avoid the crater, you may cause an accident. Rather than react suddenly:

  • Be aware of traffic around you
  • Use your mirrors to check for oncoming traffic
  • Avoid swerving out of your lane

If there is no way to avoid a pit in the road, slow down and keep your steering wheel straight. Speeding over the pothole or slamming on the brakes can do more damage to your vehicle and the passengers inside.

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Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Rejection

According to the FDA, 90 percent of the more than 1 million annual surgeries to correct a hernia utilize a mesh patch. For nearly one-third of all patients, varying complications occur, from localized pain to life-threatening bowel perforations, requiring further repair or outright mesh removal.

For patients given hernia mesh, Journal of the American Medical Association studies have shown a far lower rate of recurrence. But, when researchers evaluate sutures and mesh side-by-side, mesh tends to have far more complications, resulting from the body rejecting the patch. How do you know your body is having a reaction after surgery? Look for the following signs.

General Problems

When the body is not accepting the patch, it generates an immune response – even though the mesh is said to be made out of biologically compatible materials. When this occurs, you may have:

  • Swelling at or around the surgical site
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Difficulty urinating or passing gas and stool
  • Bruising
  • A high fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stiffness in the abdomen

Immediately post-surgery, some inflammation is common. The polypropylene used intentionally causes inflammation, which causes tissue growth around the mesh for a stronger, more secure bond. With time, the inflammation should go away. If it doesn’t and you experience abdominal pain that eventually makes everyday activities unbearable, this symptom could indicate your body is fighting off an infection.

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New Study Shows an Increase in Pedestrian Accidents

Let’s face it: In the age of technology, we’re all on our cell phones. Whether it’s to text a friend, check social media or send an email for work, Americans young and old often find themselves immersed in the digital world. Although digitization is the new normal, it becomes a problem when our smartphones make us distracted. In particular, when drivers and walkers are distracted, both parties are put in serious danger.

National Safety Council Study

According to the NSC, there were nearly 6,000 reported pedestrian fatalities in 2017. The suspected culprits? Smartphone and marijuana use. Let’s look at texting and driving first.

Distracted Driving

Texting and driving has been a serious concern for the past several years. If you take your eyes off the road for five seconds to read or send a text, it’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded!

In general, there are laws against using your cell phone behind the wheel – talking, texting and social media use – but many drivers bend the rules. Connecticut is a handsfree state that fines violators, but some people try to multitask.

Distracted Walking

What about texting and walking? Especially in urban settings, there is a chance of being struck by a motor vehicle if distracted. Whether you are crossing a busy intersection with your phone in hand or drift off the sidewalk while reading an email, both parties are at risk of a deadly collision.

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Ford Recalls 1.4 Million Cars for Defective Steering Wheels

If you or a loved one are the driver of a Ford Fusion or Lincoln MKZ, there has been a serious vehicle recall that needs your attention. Some of these sedans could have loose bolts in the steering wheel that could cause it to completely come off. Other drivers sharing the road with these cars should be aware of the dangers too! What are the details of the recall?

When Was the Issue Discovered?

In October 2017, federal regulators launched an investigation into these Ford models after many complaints to the NHTSA. In fact, the initial complaints began back in 2015, but Ford could not find a conclusive trend among the reported defects.

There have been two accidents and one injury related to the steering wheel problem, which Ford acknowledged as “alleged”. According to reports, one driver lost control of the vehicle when the steering wheel fell in his lap.

What Drivers Need to Know

This recall affects every version of the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. Most of the recalled vehicles are driven in the US, with about 100,000 sold in Canada and Mexico. To resolve the issue, Ford is telling car dealerships across the country to install a longer bolt in the steering wheel “with more robust thread engagement and larger nylon patch placed properly for proper torque retention”.

In the same announcement, Ford is also recalling 6,000 Fusion and Focus models for fire risk. The following models could be affected by a fracture in the clutch pressure plate:

  • Focus model years 2013 – 2016 with Fox GTDI engine and B6 manual transmissions.
  • Fusion model years 2013 – 2015 with Sigma GTDI engines and B6 manual transmissions.

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