Hip Infection lawyers note the filing of Bair Hugger lawsuits by surgery patients who have suffered from severe infections after undergoing hip replacement procedures that involve the 3M-manufactured forced air warming blankets. Some infections have required multiple additional surgeries to treat and have resulted in amputations in some cases. Affected patients are working with a hip infection lawyer to assist them in recovering compensation for their injuries.
If you or a loved one developed a severe infection following a hip replacement or other surgery and believe that a Bair Hugger warming blanket may have been used, contact Attorney Group for more information. We offer free, no obligation, confidential consultations. We can answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated hip infection lawyer who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What are Bair Hugger Warming Blankets?
Regulating a patient’s body temperature when under general anesthesia is crucial to prevent hypothermia from occurring. To this end, the 3M Corporation created a warming device known as the Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket. This device is intended to keep body temperature at normal levels during surgeries, thereby preventing perioperative hypothermia, which can lead to an increased risk of infection, as well as prolonging hospital stays. Patients suffering from hypothermia during surgical procedures also incur a higher risk of needing blood transfusions, in addition to an increased need for pain relievers.
How do Bair Hugger Blankets Work?
Bair Hugger warming blankets work via a forced air warming (FAW) process, which involves several components working in conjunction to warm a patient’s skin while under general anesthesia. Warm air is dispersed through a blanket via a hose mechanism, which is attached to a portable heater/blower. Patients are covered by a surgical drape during procedures, and this drape collects warm air disseminated to maintain a consistent body temperature. Warm air can then escape through openings situated at the top or bottom of the surgical drape, thereby creating a flow of air intended to combat the temperature of the operating room.
In the past, patient body temperature was regulated by electric blankets during surgery. The makers of the Bair Hugger claim that their method affords increased safety and efficiency to the process, which has led numerous hospitals to utilizing the device for an array of surgical procedures.
Risks of Using Bair Hugger Blankets During Surgery?
In addition to risks including fire and general operational failure of the Bair Hugger, which have been reported in some cases, lawsuits allege that a significant risk involves infection caused by an accumulation of contaminants that can come into contact with open surgical sites. As a result of this contact, some patients claim to have experienced severe infections, which in many cases cannot be treated by standard drug regimens.
Lawsuits allege a serious operational flaw within the device: As the warmed air rises from the Bair Hugger it can transfer harmful bacteria resting on the operating room floor along with it. These contaminants then become trapped within the Bair Hugger mechanism, where they can incubate until they are dispersed along with the warmed air over a patient’s body. Changes made to the Bair Hugger between 2002 and 2009 are alleged as being the cause of this operational flaw.
Hip infection lawyers note that those undergoing hip replacements are particularly susceptible, and may require further surgical intervention to remedy issues caused by infections. In some cases this can include replacing the initial artificial hip implant with a new version, leading to extended hospital stays and significant scarring.
Overview of Claims Involving the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket
Numerous lawsuits have been filed on behalf of patients experiencing the types of injuries described above as a result of using the Bair Hugger warming blanket. Claims point to negligence in producing the device, while also alleging that the manufacturer should be held accountable for not properly warning patients about all associated risks.
In addition to these allegations, lawsuits also state that the 3M Corporation failed to undertake thorough testing of the device before its release. Another factor is the manufacturers continued marketing and distribution of the warming blanket even after it was evident that the device could cause significant injury. This has led to claims that the device’s safety was misrepresented to hospital personnel, which in turn greatly compromised the safety of patients.
Those who claim to have been harmed as a result of the Bair Hugger warming blanket are seeking compensation for their injuries with the assistance of a hip infection lawyer.
Injured Patients May Be Entitled to Compensation
Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their devices, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable for injuries that may result.
Patients who suffer hip infections from a Bair Hugger warming blanket may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from a hip infection, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe complications from a Bair Hugger warming blanket as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the device, are encouraged to seek the advice of a hip infection lawyer to learn more about their rights and remedies
Contact Us For More Information
If you or a loved one developed a severe infection following a hip replacement or other surgery and believe that a Bair Hugger warming blanket may have been used, contact Attorney Group for more information. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at the number listed at the top of the page, or email us at [email protected].
When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.
See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, and contact Attorney Group today.