The Bair Hugger warm air blanket, which was introduced by its manufacturer, 3M, in 1988, was once considered a great idea. It is a medical device that is ostensibly designed to help maintain the body temperature of a patient while they are under anesthesia during a surgical procedure. The blanket is draped over the patient and warm air is moved over it, in order to prevent hypothermia and keep the patient’s body temperature up and as close to the ideal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit as possible.
According to numerous studies, by regulating a patient’s body temperature they can recover much more quickly. The Bair Hugger has also proven itself effective at treating hypothermia in patients who suffer from exposure. The concept is so popular that the Bair Hugger can be found in four out of every five hospitals in the United States.
Bair Hugger Warming Blankets Circulate Bacteria
Unfortunately, patients who have filed cases against 3M assert that the use of forced air warming blankets causes substantial increases in the number of particles in the air near a surgical wound and higher risks of deep joint infections following hip or knee replacement surgery.
So far, the most serious side effects, problems and risks associated with the use of a Bair Hugger have been deep joint infections, especially in the hip and knee, that have been contracted during replacement surgeries. These infections can lead to patients needing further procedures to replace the device that was implanted or to clean the joint tissues and to require antibiotic therapy in order to treat the infection. In some severe cases, patients had to have limbs amputated.
This problem has been known for some time. In fact, the inventor of the Bair Hugger, Dr. Scott Augustine, has been attempting to warn hospitals about the possibility of infection for years. Dr. Augustine, a Minnesota-based anesthesiologist, realized some years ago that his invention was serving to spread infectious bacteria throughout operating rooms during surgery and he even came up with a new device called a “Hot Dog” that takes warm air out of the equation and works more like an electric blanket. Though many have accused Dr. Augustine of exaggerating the negative health effects of the Bair Hugger to sell more of his latest invention, it’s difficult to ignore the large number of infections that have been reported to date associated with the use of the Bair Hugger.
According to research that was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2013, researchers found that air that was circulated by the Bair Hugger system contained more than 1500 times the contaminants compared to air circulated by similar devices. Despite this, to date, 3M has not issued a recall of Bair Hugger warming blankets for any reason related to deep joint infections.
Raizner Slania Now Accepting Bair Hugger Claims
Due to a significant rise in the number of joint replacement patients who have come forward recently and alleged that their infections and other postsurgical complications were caused by their surgeons’ use of the Bair Hugger, the Defective Medical Products Attorneys at Raizner Slania LLP are now accepting potential claims against 3M and the other manufacturers of these devices. We will review your case, in order to determine whether or not the 3M Bair Hugger was the cause of your infection or injuries, and determine whether you may be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering, and we’ll do it all at no cost to you.