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NBC News Says Bard Was Warned That Recovery Filter Was Faulty

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At least 27 deaths have been connected to the Bard Recovery IVC (inferior vena cava) filter over the past decade, according to an NBC News investigation.

NBC News reported that besides the 27 deaths associated with the Recovery filter; government data also revealed that approximately 300 other non-fatal issues associated with the Recovery have also been reported. The Recovery IVC filter is one of thousands of medical products sold by C.R. Bard, Inc.

Patient Nearly Dies Due to IVC Filter Fracture

Forty-five year old Dodie Froehlich told NBC News that she got her Recovery filter after severe injuries sustained in a 2004 car accident put her at a high risk for blood clots. The filter was intended to stop the clots from reaching her heart or lungs, but instead, a piece of it broke off and pierced her heart. As a result, Froehlich nearly died, although surgeons were able to remove the broken piece during emergency open-heart surgery and save Froehlich’s life.

Bard’s Reaction to Recovery Filter Concerns

According to NBC News, after problems with the IVC filters began to mount, Bard hired a public relations firm, who responded to the situation by circulating a crisis management plan to Bard management stating that unfavorable press regarding the Recovery could damage stock prices and ruin the company’s reputation.

At that point, Bard allegedly retained an outside doctor, John Lehmann, MD, to conduct a confidential study which found that the Recovery filter had significantly higher rates of risk for filter fractures, migration, and death than all of its competitors. The doctor warned that, “Further investigation is urgently warranted.”

Even as adverse reports continued to be received, Bard decided not to recall the Recovery, and instead sold approximately 34,000 of them during the next three years before replacing the device in 2005 with a modified version, the G2. As of 2006, Bard estimated that more than 20,000 people were still implanted with the Recovery IVC filter.