Raizner Slania LLP has filed a 3M Bair Hugger lawsuit on behalf of a Texas couple after the wife suffered a severe infection from the device. The couple alleges manufacturers 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare failed to warn them of the infection risks associated with the device.
In July 2017, the plaintiff underwent surgery in which the Bair Hugger warming blanket was used throughout course and scope of her left total knee replacement. The Bair Hugger warming blanket is designed to help regulate body temperature during surgical procedures. The Bair Hugger works by sucking in air from the operating room, heating it, and dispersing it through a blanket with holes draped over the patient. While regulating body temperature can help reduce bleeding risks and shorten hospital stays, the Bair Hugger introduces contaminants from the operating room air into the open surgical wounds of patients.
As a direct result of using the Bair Hugger, contaminants were introduced into the plaintiff’s open surgical wound during surgery, causing her to develop a periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), more commonly referred to as a deep joint infection. The pathogens identified were acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, and mixed skin flora.
Acinetobacter baumannii (or A. baumannii) is a short, nearly round, rod-shaped gram negative bacteria. This type of bacteria is considered opportunistic in humans, as it often affects people with compromised immune systems. A. baumannii is often associated with hospital acquired infections (HACs) and has been identified as a pathogen with a high rate of antibiotic resistance, making it a very difficult infection to treat. Staphylococcus haemolyticus (or S. haemolyticus), is a type of the common staph infection. However, S. haemolyticus has proven resistant to many antibiotics normally used to treat infections.
As a result of plaintiff’s Bair Hugger infection, she has undergone extensive additional medical treatments, including irrigation and debridement, multi-staged removal surgeries including placement of an antibiotic spacer, removal of the antibiotic spacer with extensive capsular and bony debridement, knee fusion with fusion nail and placement of a new spacer, and PICC line and oral antibiotics. In addition to these treatments, she will require additional future surgeries to replace the knee hardware once the infection is cleared.
Not only did the plaintiff suffer physically from the Bair Hugger infection, but she and her husband also suffered economically, with the cost of additional medical treatment. The couple believes the Bair Hugger device is defective in both its design and manufacture. The couple alleges 3M and Arizant committed consumer fraud and/or unfair and deceptive trade practices under Texas law.
Get Help With Your 3M Bair Hugger Lawsuit
If you or someone you care about underwent a joint surgery within the last five years and suffered an infection, you may be able to file a claim. The experienced trial attorneys at Raizner Slania LLP can analyze the facts of your situation and help you understand your legal options. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.