Hip infection lawyers note a warming blanket used during surgeries that is the subject of a Louisiana Bair Hugger lawsuit. Patients claim that the blanket has led to severe infections. Lawsuits claim that the blanket’s manufacturer did not disclose the risks of infection. Heart surgery and hip replacement patients are among those who allege the blanket caused them injury. Infections attributed to the use of the warming blankets reportedly resulted in amputations and multiple surgical treatments for some patients.
If you or a loved one developed a severe infection after undergoing a heart procedure, hip or knee replacement surgery, or some other type of surgery, contact Attorney Group for Louisiana to learn more. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated Louisiana Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What Is a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket?
The Bair Hugger warming blanket is manufactured by 3M Corporation and is used during surgery to regulate the body temperatures of patients and is designed to decrease the risk of hypothermia associated with general anesthesia. Perioperative hypothermia is linked to increased incidences of pressure sores, wound infection and blood transfusions. Patients with perioperative hypothermia often have longer recovery times and hospital stays.
How Do Bair Hugger Warming Blankets Work?
The Bair Hugger warming blanket uses forced air warming (FAW), a process that blows heated air through tubes into an inflatable blanket. Patients are warmed when the blanket fills with heated air, and proponents of the technology claim the process is more effective than electric or heated blankets. Lawsuits involving Bair Hugger describe the blankets as consisting of a portable heater/blower, a thermostat, an air filter, a flexible hose and a disposable blanket. The blanket is placed over or under patients during surgery. Patients’ exposed skin is warmed when heated air blows into the blanket. Invented by Dr. Scott Augustine, Bair Hugger warming blankets were originally manufactured by Arizant Corporation before 3M Corporation acquired that company in 2010. An estimated 50,000 of the units are used in U.S. operating rooms.
Risk of Using Bair Hugger Warming Blankets
Bair Hugger warming blankets are claimed in lawsuits to cause severe, sometimes drug-resistant infections. These injuries allegedly occur when pathogens are deposited on a patient’s skin or surgical site after propagating in the warming blanket’s blower. Bair Hugger infection lawsuits allege that bacteria from the floor of the operating room are carried with warm air blowing from the heater. The suits further claim that the manufacturers of the blankets reduced the safety of the devices when they changed the filtration system on the blowers. After the filtration change, occurring between 2002 and 2009, the Bair Hugger FAW blowers became susceptible to contamination. When a tainted blower is activated, pathogens are expelled and travel through the hose into the blanket before dissipating into the air.
Louisiana Bair Hugger Lawsuit Expected
Lawsuits have been filed by patients who believe they developed infections and injuries stemming from surgery with a Bair Hugger warming blanket. The lawsuits allege that manufacturers acted wrongfully by failing to warn surgeons and patients of the dangers associated with their products. The lawsuits further claim that manufacturers actively marketed the Bair Hugger blankets while knowing it was unsafe. More specifically, some of these lawsuits claim that the maker of these devices:
- Failed to thoroughly test Bair Hugger FAW
- Neglected to adequately warn consumers of the significant risks of the product, and selling the devices without directions for avoiding known risks of the Bair Hugger FAW
- Continued to make, market and distribute Bair Hugger warming blankets after they were aware or should have been aware of the risks and negative effects associated with the devices
- Failed to use a safe, alternative design for the product
- Misrepresented the benefits and safety of the Bair Hugger FAW
Affected patients are seeking the assistance of a Louisiana hip infection lawyer to help them understand their options.
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 suffered severe 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 their 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 infections from Bair Hugger warming blankets, 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 an Louisiana Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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