Keeping patients at a stable temperature during surgery can not only shorten
recovery times, but reduce bleeding. This is why Dr. Scott Augustine developed
the Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket in 1988. This blanket surrounds
the patient with warm air through an attached heater, a flexible hose,
and small perforations in the blanket. More than 90% of all forced-air
warming blankets in the U.S. are Bair Hugger devices.
Developer of the Bair Hugger Cautions Against Its Use
Several years ago, the very doctor who developed the Bair Hugger forced-air
warming blanket warned surgeons about the risks of using this device.
In fact, he told them to stop using it altogether. According to Dr. Augustine,
his research indicates that the forced-air warming blanket can spread
bacteria throughout the operating room, leaving the patient susceptible
to an array of infections.
A study published in
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery also warned that air circulated by the Bair Hugger device contained 2,000
times more contaminants than warmers that don’t use forced air.
When two orthopedic surgeons researched the issue further, they discovered
that there was a 74% decrease in deep joint infections when the Bair Hugger
warming device was not used during surgery.
Deep Joint Infection and Amputation: Possible Risks
One of the most significant issues associated with the Bair Hugger device
is deep joint infection. When a patient develops a deep joint infection,
it is likely that they will face an extremely long and difficult recovery.
Many will undergo multiple hospitalizations, additional surgeries, weeks
of IV antibiotic therapy, removal or revision of the original implant,
and even extended physical therapy.
In extreme cases, the patient may even face the loss of their limb. Infection
in the artificial joint can also result in chronic pain, inflammation,
redness around the wound, fever, chills, fatigue and night sweats. Even
if the infection does not lead to amputation, the patient will still need
to have the artificial joint re-implanted. In many cases, the overall
cost of a deep bone infection can total $100,000 or more.
Bair Hugger Lawsuits
Currently, lawsuits are pending against 3M for injuries caused by the Bair
Hugger forced-air warming device. Two plaintiffs developed MRSA after
undergoing joint surgery, and two plaintiffs lost limbs as a result of
deep bone infections. One patient, Rosie Bartel, explains that she was
infected with MRSA as a result of the Bair Hugger, causing her to undergo
27 surgeries. She also lost her leg to the hip.
Contact Our National Defective Medical Device Attorneys
If you or someone you love has developed a deep joint infection after the
Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket was used during surgery, you should
speak to the Philadelphia defective medical device lawyers at Golomb &
Honik, P.C. right away. We hold negligent pharmaceutical and medical device
manufacturing companies accountable for their actions. Call now at (215) 278-4449!