Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., is now reviewing cases that involve patients who suffered deep joint infections after hip or knee implant surgery that involved use of the Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming System, or “Bair Hugger Warming Blanket.”
Why Are Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Lawsuits Being Filed?
Patients from across the country have filed lawsuits against 3M, the current manufacturer of the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket, and the device’s former manufacturer, Arizant Healthcare. The patients allege:
- The device is defective. It affects airflow in operating rooms and causes germs and bacteria to be deposited in surgical sites, causing patients to suffer serious infections.
- The manufacturer knew of this defect and the increased risk of patient infections. However, the manufacturer took no steps to correct the problem or provide an adequate warning to doctors and patients.
Patients may file lawsuits in state or federal courts. Currently, lawsuits filed against 3M and Arizant in federal courts are consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the District Court of Minnesota. (MDL No. 2666).
What Is the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket in 1987. Today, more than 80 percent of the country’s hospitals use the device.
During surgery, hospitals turn down the temperature in operating rooms. The Bair Hugger system warms patients and helps them to maintain normal body temperature. The device forces heated air through hoses into a blanket that covers the patient.
By keeping patients warm during surgery, the device can provide comfort to a patient, reduce bleeding and shorten a patient’s recovery time.
What Are Problems with Bair Hugger Warming Blankets?
Despite the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket’s benefits, studies reveal serious problems with the devices when they are used during knee and hip implant operations.
In 2011, The Bone & Joint Journal published a study that found “a significant increase in deep joint infection” in simulated orthopedic surgeries in which doctors used the Bair Hugger system.
In 2013, the same journal published a study that said the device created “tornado-like vortexes” that “sucked contaminated air” from the floor and deposited germs and bacteria over surgical wounds.
Dr. Scott Augustine, the device’s inventor, now warns about use of the system in hip and knee implant surgeries. The doctor states that the device exposes patients to harmful bacteria and the risk of deep joint infections. As a result, patients may suffer permanent disability, pain and suffering. In turn, patients may need to take antibiotics and/or undergo revision surgery.
What Compensation Can You Pursue in a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one suffered serious infections after an orthopedic surgery that involved use of the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket, you should report your adverse event to the FDA. You should also get help from an experienced defective medical devices lawyer.
You may be eligible to recover compensation that includes:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and diminished future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other damages, including punitive damages (if appropriate).
Our Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Injury Lawyers Are Ready to Help You
The product liability attorneys of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., are investigating Bair Hugger Warming Blanket injury cases from across the country. We can provide a free review of your case today.
Our firm has a long history of protecting the rights of injured consumers. We seek just compensation for them and their families. Since we established our firm in 1981, we have recovered more than $400 million on behalf of our clients.
Our lawyers can bring extensive experience in product liability litigation to your case. We will thoroughly investigate what happened to you and consult with highly knowledgeable medical experts. Our goal will be to prepare the strongest possible case on your behalf.
We will charge no costs or legal fees unless and until we obtain a financial recovery for you. To learn more, call or connect with us online today.
More Information About Bair Hugger Warming Blankets
- 510(k) Summary of Safety and Effectiveness, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Doctor Says a Device He Invented Poses Risks, The New York Times
- Patient Warming: Anesthesia’s Role in Orthopedic Infection Reduction, Scott Augustine, M.D.
- Forced-Air Patient Warming Blankets Disrupt Unidirectional Airflow, The Bone & Joint Journal
- Forced-Air Warming and Ultra-Clean Ventilation Do Not Mix, The Bone & Joint Journal