It is so sad when there is nothing the doctors can do about this. I have deep vein thrombosis in my legs all the way up to a clogged filter that was placed in my inferior vena cava. I know that this is an option if your mother has enought clot that could become larger and possibly travel. By placing a greenfield filter in the vein, it traps any clots that break free. And yes she would stay on Coumadin for the rest of her life as a result to ensure no more clots will appear. Doctors just don't have enough information and treatment for deep vein thrombosis. I have been told this by many doctors outright. They just don't know. And this part is frustrting. She should also be wearing some type of compression stocking for her arm. I wear them on my legs and I can lead a fairly active life becuase of the stocking and the security of the filter that is in place. I wish I had something better to tell you and hope someone else replies with something better that I can benefit from. I just wish these pharmecutical companies would work on a better option for blood thinner besides Coumadin and Heparin. And yes, your mother is alive and that is a great thing!