Case 7 – History


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Case 7

Inferior vena cava filter


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Brief Past Medical History

The patient was a middle-aged Caucasian man with hypertension and obesity who had a prior head injury from a fall down stairs eight years prior with acute intracranial bleeding requiring craniotomy; and long-term complication of seizures treated medically.

He had a temporary inferior vena cava filter placed prophylactically.

The filter became embedded into the inferior vena cava wall and could not be surgically removed.

He presented for medical attention two months before death with shortness of breath.

Cardiovascular and infectious (viral) work-up were negative.


Day of Death

On the day of death, he was noted to be sweating and with a right-sided facial droop.

The patient then collapsed, had a possible seizure and died.


Next: External exam

Discussion Questions

1. What are short- and long-term sequelae of traumatic brain injury (such as the patient had)?

2. What is the purpose of an inferior vena cava filter?

3. Under what circumstances is this type of filter placed?

4. What are complications of placing an inferior vena cava filter? Which one did this patient have?

5. When is inferior vena cava filter placement temporary? When is it permanent?