Raizner Slania filed a lawsuit against 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare on behalf of a Georgia woman who suffered a severe Staph infection caused by the Bair Hugger device.
In September 2011, the plaintiff underwent a right knee total arthroplasty in which the Bair Hugger device was used throughout the scope of her procedure. As a direct result of the Bair Hugger warming blanket, contaminants were introduced into the plaintiff’s open surgical wounds, causing her to develop a periprosthetic joint infection or PJI. The pathogens were identified as staph epidermidis and staph aureus.
Staphylococcus, more commonly referred to as staph, is a bacteria that causes some of the most common infections, including pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome, and blood poisoning. Staph epidermidis (S. epidermidis) is a type of staph infection capable of creating a biofilm on plastic devices inside the body. This biofilm helps cultivate additional infections from other types of bacteria and can be difficult to treat with antibiotics. Staph aureus (S. aureus) is also a type of staph infection that can cause skin abscesses, respiratory infections, and food poisoning. When S. aureus is acquired during a joint replacement surgery, the infection can cause many serious side effects.
As a result of the plaintiff’s infection caused by the Bair Hugger warming blanket, she was forced to undergo multi-staged removal and revision arthroplasties, placement of antibiotic spacers, irrigation and debridements, knee aspirations, and long-term antibiotic therapy.
The infection not only caused the plaintiff to suffer physically, but also caused her economic loss from the extensive medical bills. The plaintiff alleges 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare failed to warn her of the infection risk associated with the Bair Hugger device. She also believes the companies violated the consumer fraud and/or unfair and deceptive trade practices laws of the state of Georgia.