Hip infection lawyers note a warming blanket used during surgeries may become the subject of a Tennessee Bair Hugger lawsuit. Other lawsuits claim that the manufacturer of the Bair Hugger failed to warn hospitals, doctors and patients of potential risks associated with the blankets. Hip replacement and heart surgery patients were some of the people affected by infections allegedly caused by the blankets.
If you or a loved one developed a severe infection after undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery, a heart procedure, or some other type of surgery, contact Attorney Group for Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 designed to help patients stay warm while having a surgical operation. The blankets, manufactured and distributed by the 3M Corporation, are meant to protect against the perioperative hypothermia linked to general anesthesia. Hypothermia may lead to a higher chance of wound infection, greater need of blood transfusions and an increased incidence of pressure sores.
How Does a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Work?
Bair Hugger warming blankets take advantage of forced air warming (FAW) technology. In this process, heated air is blown through tubes attached to a blanket. A patient’s body temperature is warmed when the blanket inflates with hot air. Those who promote FAW claim it is more efficient than electric or standard blankets. The Bair Hugger warming blankets consist of three main components: a disposable blanket, a portable heater/blower and a hose. Patients rest on top or beneath the blankets while on the operating table, and the hot air that fills the inflatable blanket warms their exposed skin.
Alleged Dangers of Bair Hugger Warming Blankets
Bair Hugger FAW units have reportedly caught fire and caused burns. However, lawsuits allege the main hazard of the blankets is their propensity to cause severe, debilitating infections. Infections are alleged to occur because pathogens lodged within the heaters are expelled and deposited on patients’ skin during surgery. Bair Hugger lawsuits describe the process whereby bacteria from the operating room floor becomes airborne and is carried in the warm air that blows from the heater to the blanket and eventually to the patient’s skin. At some time between 2002 and 2009, the lawsuits allege that a redesign of the filters in the units caused the devices to become hazardous and prone to collect pathogens. The newly revamped filtration system led to bacteria being expelled from the heaters and into the surgery room atmosphere.
Affected patients and their families are encouraged to seek the counsel of a Tennessee Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights.
Tennessee Bair Hugger Lawsuit Expected
Lawsuits have been filed claiming that the manufacturer of the Bair Hugger warming blankets was negligent, that it failed to properly warn patients of the dangers associated with using these blankets, and that the manufacturer should be held liable for selling a product that was dangerous. More specifically, some of these lawsuits claim that:
- Bair Hugger FAW technology was not properly tested.
- The medical community was not warned of the dangers and risks of the warming blankets, and the distributors provided no information on how to minimize risks of using the product.
- Bair Hugger blankets were produced, marketed and sold even after the dangers of the devices were known or should have been known by the manufacturers.
- Safe design alternatives for the product were not used.
- The safety of the Bair Hugger FAW units was misrepresented.
Affected patients are advised to seek the assistance of a Tennessee 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 Tennessee Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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