Venous thromboembolic disease is a major problem among critically ill patients, with significant associated morbidity and mortality. Many critically ill patients have contraindications to systemic anticoagulation, and inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are an important alternative in preventing pulmonary emboli (PE) in this population. The Angel Catheter (Mermaid, Stenlose, Denmark) is a novel percutaneous and removable IVC filter attached to the end of a triple lumen central venous catheter which has been demonstrated to reduce PE in surgical and trauma patients. This case series describes 18 critically ill medical patients who had an Angel catheter placed either for diagnosed PE or due to high risk for PE; over half had at least submassive PE at the time of Angel catheter placement. None of the patients had a recurrence of PE during Angel catheter use, 29.4% had clot found in the filter via cavogram upon removal, and only one had a minor complication which had no clinical consequence. In 2 patients, the placement of the Angel Catheter resulted in the prevention of PE during catheter-directed thrombolysis of extensive deep vein thrombosis. This case series demonstrates that in a population of critically ill, elderly, and obese medical patients the bedside placement of the Angel IVC filter is feasible, safe, and may be effective for preventing PE.
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