Raizner Slania filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Massachusetts man who suffered a severe infection as a result of the Bair Hugger warming blanket used during surgery. The plaintiff alleges the manufacturers, 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, failed to warn him of the infection risk associated with the device.
In December 2010, the plaintiff underwent a total left knee replacement in which the Bair Hugger device was used during the scope of his procedure. The device introduced contaminants into his open surgical wound, causing him to develop a periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), also known as a deep joint infection (DJI).
The pathogens identified were Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). MRSA is often referred to as a “super bug” because it is resistant to the antibiotics usually used to treat infections.
The plaintiff underwent extensive treatments to fight the infection, including prolonged antibiotic therapy and irrigation and debridement; but, unfortunately, he ultimately had to have his left leg amputated above the knee.
Although the infected leg was amputated, the MRSA infection had already spread to his spine where he developed an infection in his T12-L1 vertebrae. Once the MRSA infection reached the plaintiff’s spine, it spread to his right knee prosthesis. Unfortunately, the plaintiff also had to have his right leg amputated above the knee to fight the infection.
The plaintiff suffered immeasurably from the infections caused by the Bair Hugger device both economically, with the cost of medical treatment and loss of income capability, and emotionally. He alleges 3M and Arizant were grossly negligent in failing to warn patients the Bair Hugger could cause serious infections. The plaintiff also believes the device is defective in design and manufacture.