Did you or a loved one suffer a deep joint infection after surgery using a Bair Hugger warming blanket?
A brand of warming blanket often used by medical facilities to regulate body temperature of patients undergoing shoulder, hip, or knee replacement surgeries is suspected of causing dangerous complications, including deep-joint infections.
The 3M Bair Hugger blanket is a forced-air warming and disposable blanket. It blows hot air on the patient’s skin to regulate body temperature, which helps reduce bleeding and improve recovery time.
However, it’s alleged in lawsuits that forced air may lead to spreading bacteria into the surgical site, putting patients at risk for deep-joint infections.
If you or someone you know suffered a dangerous forced-air warmer complication such as deep-joint infection, you may have a legal claim.
Fill out the form on this page for more information.
It’s alleged in lawsuits that forced air may lead to spreading bacteria into the surgical site, putting patients at risk for deep-joint infections. In 2011, The American Journal of Infection Control found 58% of the forced-air warmers (including the Bair Hugger) studied produced and emitted airborne contaminants, “with microorganisms detected on the internal air path surfaces of 92.3% of these blowers.” The study noted that high levels of contamination are not necessary to cause invections, but the study did not determine whether the contaminants from the warmers were viable.
Another 2011 study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, proposed that unclean air associated with the forced-air warming devices demonstrated elevated infection odds. The study recommended air-free warming. Studies in 2012 and 2013 support the theory that the forced-air devices can cause infections.
Plaintiffs in some 6,000 lawsuits have claimed damages as a result of the forced-air blanket. Plaintiffs have alleged 3M was aware of the risks of complications associated with Bair Hugger since at least 2009, but continued to market the device as safe. In fact, the Minnesota inventor of the device, a former employee of the device maker, told the New York Times he no longer supported the use of the Bair Hugger. The lawsuits say patients had to undergo multiple surgeries and have their joint implant removed. One plaintiff, Tim Hopkins, told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “I wake up from surgery, and all these doctors come in and say, ‘We have to cut off your leg to save your life. There are no other options.’ I said, what if I take this IV out and leave? And they said, ‘You’ll be dead in two days.’ So they amputated my leg. I spent 27 days in the hospital. Had six surgical procedures. Eighty days in a wheelchair. Hell on earth.”
If you or a loved one experienced Bair Hugger complications such as deep joint infection after a forced-air blanket was used during surgery, you may be eligible to take legal action against the device manufacturer. A lawsuit could help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Fill out the form on this page for a FREE case evaluation.