A North Carolina Bair Hugger lawsuit may be an option for patients who experienced severe infection following joint replacement surgery. Warming blankets such as the Bair Hugger system developed by 3M are designed to keep patients warm during surgery, maintaining the patient’s body temperature and preventing the risk of infection and hypothermia. However, heart surgery and hip and knee replacement patients claim that the Bair Hugger system has led to severe infections. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to pursue compensation with the help of a North Carolina Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina. 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.
What is a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket and How Does It Work?
The Bair Hugger warming blanket system developed by the 3M Company uses the temperature of the air surrounding the blanket to maintain a patient’s body temperature, reduce the risk of infection, and prevent the possibility of unintended hypothermia.
Developed in 1987 and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1988, Bair Hugger warming blankets are a type of forced-air warming (FAW) system that works by pushing air from a warming unit through a flexible hose to a single-use blanket. The warm air then exits through a series of micro-perforations on the bottom of the blanket in an area away from the surgical site.
Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Risks
Although Bair Hugger warming blankets have been used to keep patients warm during a number of surgical procedures, there are a variety of risks allegedly associated with the warming blankets such as burning hazards and surgical site infections.
According to an adverse event report issued in 2012, a patient claimed to have received second degree burns as a result of using a Bair Hugger warming blanket during a hospital procedure.
Although Bair Hugger warming blankets are designed to reduce the risk of infections, some patients claim that the devices may actually lead to an increased risk of infection by blowing bacteria-contaminated air into the surgical site. The risk of infection is particularly serious for patients undergoing surgery to replace heart valves, hip joints, or knees.
In a 2009 article, researchers concluded that the design of FAW equipment is questionable for preventing the emission of airborne contamination. In the study, 32% of the blowers appeared to exhibit abnormal filtration patterns that suggested airborne contaminant generation inside of the blowers. Based on the results of the study, researchers suggest that FAW manufacturers should be aware that FAW blowers emit more than just hot air and that alternative technologies to prevent unintended hypothermia exist.
Bair Hugger Lawsuits
A Bair Hugger lawsuit claims that the manufacturers of the warming blanket, 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, Inc., were negligent and failed to properly warn patients of the risks related to the devices.
The lawsuit alleges that at some point between 2002 and 2009 the manufacturers of Bair Hugger warming blankets reduced the efficiency of the air filtration, leading to a reduction in safety and causing the internal airflow paths of Bair Hugger FAW blowers to become contaminated with pathogens. Once the contaminated air leaves the blanket, the surrounding air is then contaminated as well.
The lawsuit further alleges that the manufacturers made fraudulent misrepresentations with respect to the device through the product’s labeling, advertising, marketing materials, presentations, publications, notice letters, and regulatory submissions and that the manufacturers falsely representing that the device was safe and safer than other warming devices.
How a North Carolina 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 product 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.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to 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 or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.