Personal Injury Lawyers Investigating Bair Hugger Infection Claims
Munley Law is currently reviewing claims involving infections caused by the 3M Bair Hugger patient warmer. More than 4,000 lawsuits have been filed. If you or someone you love suffered a serious infection after a hip or knee replacement surgery where a forced-air warming blanket was used, call Munley Law today for a free legal consultation with a medical device lawyer.
What is the Bair Hugger?
The Bair Hugger surgical blanket manufactured by 3M is a forced-air warming system used to keep patients warm during surgery. The system is designed to maintain patients’ core body temperature, prevent hypothermia, and promote the healing and recovery process. A warming unit moves hot air through a hose and into the blanket. Bair Hugger blankets have been used in more than 200 million surgeries in the United States since 1987.
Bair Hugger Infection Risk
Thousands of patients have claimed that they developed serious infections during joint replacement surgeries in which these blankets were used. Some researchers have found that the forced-air method of warming can circulate contaminants that lead to infection.
Among the product’s most vocal critics is the man who invented it, Dr. Scott Augustine. Dr. Augustine says that, while he was once proud of this product, he now believes that the technology is flawed. He supports the theory that air currents from under the operating table can stir up bacteria from the operating room floor that may contaminate the surgery site and cause infection.
Deep Joint Infection
Infection is a risk in any surgical procedure, but the “deep joint infections” suffered by orthopedic surgery patients in these cases are different. Surgeries involving implants (such as a knee or hip replacement) involve a higher risk of contamination than other surgeries. Deep joint infections are not easily treated, and can lead to other problems including sepsis, MRSA, pneumonia, and blood infections. They may result in additional hospitalization, additional surgeries, amputation, and extended medical care.
3M Bair Hugger Lawsuits
More than 4,000 victims have filed suit against 3M in connection with the Bair Hugger warming system. The lawsuits allege that 3M misrepresented the safety of the Bair Hugger system, and failed to warn physicians and consumers about potential risk of infection. Medical device manufacturers have a responsibility to create and market safe products, and to inform the public of any risks associated with their devices.
3M denies that the blankets are to blame for patient complications, and says the plaintiffs’ attorneys have no evidence to back their claims.
On Wednesday, December 13, U.S. District Court Judge Joan Ericksen ruled that the plaintiffs can present their preferred expert witnesses to support their claims; 3M had requested that these witnesses be excluded and the cases be dismissed. Judge Ericksen’s ruling allowed the plaintiffs to proceed with their claims. The first bellwether cases are expected to go to trial in early 2018.
Take Action: Consult a Medical Device Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love suffered a serious complication or infection after an implant or replacement surgery where a Bair Hugger blanket was used, you have rights. An experienced personal injury lawyer can get you the justice you deserve. There is NO CHARGE for the initial consultation, and the details of your situation will be kept confidential. Fill out our online form, chat live, or call today for a free case review.