Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Lawsuits
When undergoing surgery, the last thing you expect is to leave the operating table worse than when you came in.
Unfortunately, more and more people across the country are developing infections from a device used in more than 80 percent of American hospitals.
This device is known as the Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket.
If you or anyone you know has suffered an infection after a routine operation like a knee or hip replacement surgery where a Bear Hugger warming blanket was used, the experienced product liability lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan can help you get the compensation you deserve.
There are no upfront fees and your initial case review is free.
Call (888) 213-8140 to schedule a free consultation.
The Bair Hugger Warming Blanket
The Bair Hugger is a forced air warming blanket that helps regulate the body temperature of anesthetized patients by forcing hot air through a hose connected to the blanket, which covers the patient. This is done in order to prevent hypothermia as well as to reduce the risk of infections caused by low body temperature.
Unfortunately, the Bair Hugger has been known to cause infections by blowing contaminated air into a patients wound. As put by the medical journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, the Bair Hugger creates convection currents that mobilize resident air from non-sterile areas and into the surgical site.
Lawsuits Filed Against 3M
In March 2014, Timothy Johnson filed a federal lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Bair Hugger, 3M, in Kansas after he developed Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) during a knee replacement surgery, allegedly due to the circulation of bacteria-filled air in the operating room from the Bair Hugger. This lead to the amputation of his leg.
Another knee replacement recipient, Rosie Bartel, developed the same infection. Since the original surgery, she has undergone 11 surgeries, one of which was a partial amputation of the infected leg.
In July 2015, Tawas Reed filed a similar lawsuit after he contracted MRSA during a routine hip-replacement surgery, resulting in 15 different surgeries and a lifetime of limited mobility.
In addition, these lawsuits claim that 3M knew about the risks for infection but didn't warn healthcare providers and may have attempted to conceal the associated data detailing such risks.
Warnings of Risks for Infection
The Bair Hugger inventor urged doctors to stop using the device years ago. After reviewing studies, Dr. Scott Augustine concluded that contaminants from the operating room floor could likely become airborne and cause serious infections.
When the Bair Hugger is used, it increases the temperature at the surgical site, which forms rapidly spinning vortexes that suck contaminated air from the operating room floor and deposits bacteria over the surgical site.
When bacteria lands on prosthetic implants, it secretes a coating of biofilm, which protects the bacteria from antibiotics and antibodies that would normally fight off an infection. This biofilm allows even the smallest amounts of airborne bacteria to rapidly cause deep joint implant infections, resulting in unexpected catastrophe.
Bair Hugger Increases Risks for Infection
Many patients that undergo routine joint surgeries, such as hip and knee replacements, are at risk for developing MRSA and other bacterial infections when the Bair Hugger is involved.
Roughly one out of 100 patients develops infection after joint replacement surgery and these numbers are increasing as the use of Bair Hugger rises in hospitals. The effects of infection are debilitating. The cure only lies with extensive surgeries to wash out the surrounding joints and tissues, through the replacement of the prosthetic implant, and heavy doses of antibiotics. If the infection is not dealt with quickly or effectively, many patients are forced to undergo amputations and are left worse than before the initial surgery.
If you have recently undergone a joint replacement surgery or a surgery that involved the use of the Bair Hugger, below are some common signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of an infection.
- Increased pain or unusual stiffness around the joint
- Increased fatigue
- Fevers, chills and sweats
- Loosening of the prosthesis
- Joint swelling
- Warmth and redness around the surgical area (also known as Erythema)
- Wound drainage or pus discharge
Our Product Liability Lawyers Can Help
A leader in the field of product liability, our team of researches and litigators has successfully recovered the maximum level of compensation for our clients who have suffered because of a bad product, like the Bair Hugger warming blanket.
With locations in Maryland and Washington, D.C., we are here to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and that no one else has to endure similar devastation or loss.