Bair Hugger Lawsuit
A Bair Hugger lawsuit may be an option for patients who suffered severe infections following certain surgical procedures. Lawsuits allege that the warming blanket can lead to severe infections in patients and that the manufacturer failed to disclose risks associated with its use. Hip replacement and heart surgery patients are among those most susceptible to injury in connection with the use of the device. Affected patients and their families may be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages with the help of a defective medical device lawyer.
For more information, contact Attorney Group. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case we can connect you with an affiliated Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen a Bair Hugger or Hip Infection Commercial?
You may have seen a Bair Hugger lawsuit commercial or similar hip infection commercial on television and have questions about these cases. The purpose of this article is to provide information related to Bair Hugger warming blankets and associated lawsuits. If you have additional questions, or if you or a loved one thinks you have a claim, contact us for more information.
What are Bair Hugger Warming Blankets?
Inadvertent perioperative hypothermia can be a common occurrence during surgical procedures in which the patient is placed under anesthesia. Consequences of the condition include blood loss and may require patients to receive blood transfusions during the procedure. Hypothermia may also adversely affect how antibodies defend against viruses and bacteria that may enter into the peripheral wound tissues.
A Bair Hugger forced air warming (FAW) blanket is used to prevent unintended perioperative hypothermia. The warming system consists of warming unit that filters the air in the operating room and pushes it through a flexible hose to a disposable blanket. The FAW blankets are designed to reduce the risk of surgical site infection, however, some patients claim that the blankets actually contributed to severe complications related to infections the systems were supposed to prevent.
The hot air produced by Bair Hugger FAW accumulates under the surgical drape covering the patient and escapes from under the surgical drape below the level of the surgical table or at the head end of the surgical table. This escaped air creates airflow currents that flow against the downward airflow of the operating room.
Bair Hugger warming blankets were invented by Dr. Scott Augustine and were manufactured by the Arizant Corporation before its acquisition by 3M in 2010. More than 50,000 of the devices are believed to be in use in hospitals and surgical clinics across the U.S.
What are the Risks of Bair Hugger Warming Blankets?
Although Bair Hugger FAW blankets have reportedly been one of the most trusted brands in the industry used to maintain patient body temperature during surgical procedures, there are a number of risks allegedly associated with the systems, including an increased risk of infection due to air contamination.
According to Bair Hugger lawsuit claims, at some point between 2002 and 2009, the device manufacturers allegedly reduced the efficiency of the air filtration of Bair Hugger FAW blowers, which reduced the safety of the devices. As a result, the internal airflow paths of Bair Hugger FAW blowers can become contaminated with pathogens.
The pathogens contaminating the internal airflow paths of Bair Hugger FAW blowers incubate and rapidly grow within the device. These pathogens are then expelled from the interior of the Bair Hugger FAW blower by the outward airflow, travel through the hose into the disposable blanket and escape into the operating room.
Injuries caused by these infections have reportedly required extended hospitalizations and multiple surgeries to treat. When hip replacement patients are infected, they may be required to have an additional revision surgery to replace the hip replacement in order to get rid of the infection. Scarring from these multiple surgeries and other treatment of the infection has been reported. Some infections have resulted in amputations of affected extremities. Infections caused by drug resistant bacteria can lead to death.
The risks associated with the Bair Hugger warming blanket are apparently so great that in 2010 the inventor of the device declared that he wanted hospitals to stop using it.
According to an article published in the New York Times, Dr. Scott Augustine claims that the Bair Hugger warming blanket could be a danger to patients receiving artificial heart valves and joints, potentially spreading bacteria related to hospital-acquired infections.
Why is There a Bair Hugger Lawsuit?
A Bair Hugger lawsuit may be filed in the U.S. on behalf of patients who claimed that they suffered injuries and other damages as a result of developing severe surgical site infections following use of the forced air warming device.
Bair Hugger infection lawsuits claim that the manufacturer was negligent, should be strictly liable for selling a defective product, and failed to warn of the dangers posed by the product.
Specifically, lawsuits claim that the device maker engaged in wrongful conduct by:
- Failing to properly and thoroughly test Bair Hugger FAW before releasing the device to market
- Selling the device without an adequate warning of the significant and dangerous risks of the Bair Hugger FAW and without proper instructions to avoid the harm which could foreseeably occur as a result of using the device
- Continuing to manufacture, market, advertise, and distribute the Bair Hugger FAW after they knew or should have known of its adverse effects
- Failing to utilize a safer alternative design in the manufacturer of the device, and
- Misrepresentation of the safety and effectiveness of the device
Affected patients claim in a Bair Hugger lawsuit that, despite the known risks of the Bare Hugger surgical blankets, according to the manufacturer actively and aggressively marketed the Bair Hugger FAW as safe in both general and orthopedic surgeries despite knowledge to the contrary.
Lawsuits also allege that a number of peer-reviewed studies, including studies published in the Orthopedic Review and The Bone & Joint Journal, identifying and documenting the critical safety shortcomings of the Bair Hugger system should have motivated the makers of the device, 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, Inc., to discontinue their use.
As a result of this alleged wrongdoing, affected patients are seeking compensation for their injuries and seek damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, physical impairment, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity and disfigurement. Punitive damages are also being sought against the manufacturer.
Bair Hugger Lawsuit News
- September 2016air Hugger lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman and her deceased mother alleges that 3M Company failed to warn patients of the risks associated with the medical devices.
- April 2016First Bair Hugger bellwether trial scheduled to go before jury in November 2017.
- February 2016Lead Counsel is named in the Bair Hugger multi-district litigation (MDL) pending in federal court in Minnesota.
- November 2015Over 50 Bair Hugger lawsuits have been filed by patients claiming that the warming blankets caused them severe infections.
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How a Bair Hugger Lawsuit Can Help
Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a medical device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by Bair Hugger warming blankets may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.