An Ohio Bair Hugger lawsuit may be an option for patients who experienced severe infection following joint replacement surgery. Bair Hugger warming blankets are designed to maintain patient body temperature, curb the risk of infection, and prevent hypothermia during surgical procedures. Although Bair Hugger systems are often the preferred warming method during many surgeries, the warming blankets have been allegedly linked to severe infections, particularly in heart surgery and hip and knee replacement patients. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to pursue compensation with the help of an Ohio Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Ohio. 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?
Originally launched in 1987 and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1988, the Bair Hugger warming blanket system uses the surrounding air temperature to maintain a patient’s body temperature, lower the risk of infection, and prevent perioperative hypothermia.
Forced-air warming (FAW) blankets such as the Bair Hugger system consist of two primary components: (1) a warming unit and (2) a single-use blanket. Forced-air warming blankets push the surrounding air from the warming unit through a hose connected to the disposable blanket. Once the warm air is circulated throughout the blanket, the air exits through tiny holes or perforations on the underside of the blanket, away from the surgical site.
Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Risks
Bair Hugger warming blankets are one of the most trusted brands used to keep patients warm during surgical procedures, however, there have been a number of risks allegedly associated with the systems, including second degree burn and infections.
In an adverse event report released in 2012, a patient claimed to have experienced second degree burns as a result of using the Bair Hugger system during a surgical 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 especially serious for patients undergoing surgery to replace heart valves, hip joints, or knees.
According to an article published in 2009, researchers concluded that the design of FAW equipment is questionable for preventing the emission of airborne contamination. Likewise, the study noted that operating instructions from FAW manufacturers did not provide a method for decontaminating the inside of the hose or blower. Based on the results of the study, researchers have suggested that FAW manufacturers should reconsider the design of their FAW blowers.
Bair Hugger Lawsuits
A Bair Hugger lawsuit filed in the state of Kansas 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 associated with the devices.
The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers of the Bair Hugger warming system have known about the risk of pathogenic contamination since at least 2009. Despite this knowledge, the manufacturers continued to actively and aggressively market the Bair Hugger FAW as safe in both general and orthopedic surgeries.
According to the lawsuit, the manufacturers admitted in a letter to the FDA that “air blown intraoperatively across the surgical wound may result in airborne contamination.” The lawsuit further alleges that the device’s manufacturers countered this flaw in their products by misrepresenting to the FDA that the risk of contamination is alleviated by the use of a tape barrier, which the lawsuit claims is false.
Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers made a number of misleading and false claims concerning their products, including claims about the risk of surgical site infection. As a result of the manufacturer’s wrongful conduct, the plaintiff claimed to have sustained economic damages, severe and permanent injuries, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
How an Ohio 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 Ohio. 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.