Recent medical technology and breakthroughs have certainly done their fair share of saving lives, in addition to prolonging them in many cases.
At the same time, there is increasing concern over regulation and oversight to ensure that the public is not potentially mislead into believing that one technique or drug is safer or more than beneficial than it is proven to be. It is a dilemma that is not only worrying about individual members of society but is also plaguing the medical community at large. An example of this can be seen in the recent study that IVC Filters might not be nearly as beneficial as they are believed to be, and could be dangerous in many situations.
We have to remember that there are thousands of medical procedures being performed around the world every day. Most of them go off without a problem, while others result in unintended consequences. It is that latter category that we are certainly hoping to avoid as a society.
With all of the new advances being made today, the fear among many is that certain procedures are being used today that is really not that necessary. The case of inferior vena cava filters serves as an example to this point.
Are Medical Procedures Being Performed Unnecessarily for IVC Filters?
IVC Filters are usually placed in a patient that has recently had either a pulmonary embolism or is suffering from deep vein thrombosis. Either situation is potentially life-threatening, so it is understandable that physicians are working hard to do what they can to protect the patient in either situation.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, it has been determined that the evidence pointing to the benefits of these Filters is thin at best. If this is the case, then many questions why they are being used in the first place, as the procedure itself could be viewed as risky.
Retrievable Filters that Cannot Be Retrieved
Many filters are designed to be taken out of the body after a certain period, yet in most cases this is not occurring. In fact, one study revealed that only 1 in 3 such retrievable filters was actually being removed. Such filters are designed only to be in the body on a temporary basis, so leaving them in people can cause harm.
The devices can simply become defective, and that is exactly what is happening in far too many cases. In fact, a strut fracture has been found to occur in roughly 5% of such instances of a filter remaining in the body far past the date that it should have been removed. This is yet another incidence of defective drugs and medical devices creeping their way into the medical system.
In the end, we should not expect the medical industry to be perfect, but we should expect them to learn from their mistakes. If filters, such as the ones described here, are being used in a way other than intended, the potential for harm is high. In fact, it is troubling to note that the benefits of IVC filters have been called into question, which makes the medical problems occurring, as a result, all the more troubling and unsettling.
Moving forward, more oversight needs to be given to ensure that such devices are being used properly and that they are truly helpful to patients. If there is any reason whatsoever to worry about the effectiveness of either medical devices or drugs, the plug should be pulled until definitive results are uncovered.