A Virginia Bair Hugger lawsuit may be an option for patients who experienced severe infection following joint replacement surgery. Bair Hugger warming blankets are often used to regulate patient body temperature and reduce the risk of infection during certain surgical procedures, including hip replacements and heart surgery. However, some patients claim that the blanket has led to serious complications such as severe surgical site infection. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to pursue compensation with the help of a Virginia Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Virginia. 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 Virginia Bair Hugger lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Perioperative Hypothermia?
According to research published in the Ochsner Journal, unintended perioperative hypothermia is a serious condition that can be potentially dangerous and even life-threatening, since it is in the context of surgery. It occurs when a surgical patient’s core body temperature falls at or below 96.8° (F). While operating rooms must necessarily be kept at a cool temperature for purposes of sterility and the maintenance of a hygienic environment, a patient who is undergoing surgery and is anesthetized does not have the normal body functionality to regulate their own temperature. However, evidence shows that when a patient is pre-warmed for 30 minutes or more, their chance of experiencing perioperative hypothermia falls.
Forced Air Warming Devices and Their Risks
Forced air warming devices are used to blow and circulate temperature-regulated heat onto surgical patients before and during an operation. After a patient is anesthetized and can no longer maintain their body temperature, forced air warming devices can help prevent the higher chances of infection, lengthier recovery periods and perioperative hypothermia, according to the 3M Corporation who manufactures the Bair Hugger device.
The New York Times notes that the inventor of the Bair Hugger, Dr. Scott Augustine, is on record as stating that while he supports the ideas behind his invention, it is now old and outdated technology which should be replaced. Dr. Augustine has been vocal in indicating that the Bair Hugger may indeed be risky, leading to the spread of bacteria and infection. He advocates the use of new devices, which do not use forced air but instead warm a patient in other ways that are unlikely to circulate pathogens and cause infection, which are now on the market.
Bair Hugger Lawsuits Filed
The Star Tribune states that in a clinical trial conducted in 2011, less than 1 percent of patients who used a new warming device called the Hotdog, which Dr. Augustine is now promoting as a replacement for the Bair Hugger, got an infection. In this same study, more than 3 percent of patients who used a forced air warming device like the Bair Hugger during surgery ended up with a post-operation infection. This percentage may seem small, but in the last 28 years over 200 million surgical patients have used the Bair Hugger warming blanket, so this is a significant finding.
More than a dozen patients who have undergone surgery for joint replacement have found themselves with serious infections after having used the Bair Hugger during their operation, according to Outpatient Surgery magazine. These patients are some of the many who are now taking legal action against the manufacturer. These individuals allege that because of the circulatory nature of the forced air warming device, bacteria-laden air from the surgical room was transported through the blanket and blown into their internal cavities during their procedures. The infections that they acquired as a result of using the Bair Hugger caused them to need multiple additional surgeries and even an amputation in one case to resolve the issue.
How a Virginia 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 medical device 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 Virginia. 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.