Did you suffer a serious infection after the hospital used a 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket during your implant surgery? Call Brown & Crouppen at 1-877-895-9191 to discuss your legal rights.
Preventing Inadvertent Perioperative Hypothermia
Inadvertent perioperative hypothermia (IPH) is a common side-effect of general anesthesia during surgery. IPH can contribute to several quite serious complications, including a higher risk of bleeding and cardiovascular events. Hospitals have therefore made it standard practice to use warming blankets on patients during surgery.
There are several different types of warming blankets, including thermal, electric and, more recently, forced air warming blankets.
The Risks of Using a Forced Air Warming Blanket
The Bair Hugger is a disposable blanket that connects to a portable heater via a hose. The heater blows warmed air through the hose, into the blanket and onto the patient’s skin.
Although the Bair Hugger keeps the patient warm, we theorize that it can cause air to circulate around the operating table, “kicking up” bacteria (such as MRSA) and contaminants from the floor that then settle into the surgical site.
Multiple lawsuits currently pending against the manufacturer of the Bair Hugger allege that the hot air produced by Bair Hugger accumulates under the surgical drape covering the patient. The hot air then escapes from under the surgical drape below the level of the surgical table or at the head end of the surgical table. This escaped air creates air flow currents that flow against the downward air flow of the operating room. As this warmed air rises, it deposits bacteria from the floor of the surgical room into the surgical site. Several pending lawsuits also allege that because the Bair Hugger was used, contaminants were introduced to patient’s open surgical wound, resulting in an infection.
Although infection is always a risk with any type of surgery, PJI can be catastrophic. The infection is deep within the patient’s body, making it difficult to treat. Patients with PJI face:
- Long hospitalizations
- Weeks or months of antibiotics
- Additional surgeries
- Tissue removal
- Implant removal
PJI patients rarely regain full capacity and can find themselves unable to take care of even their own basic needs.
3M Knew the Risks But Didn’t Warn Doctors or Patients
Although 3M has known about the risks for years, it is alleged that 3M deliberately hid or suppressed information from hospitals, doctors and patients. Even the doctor who invented the Bair Hugger has stated publically that it should not be used and that it isn’t safe.
Despite this, 3M continues to value profits over patients. To this day, it markets the Bair Hugger as safe.
We Can Help
If you or someone you care about suffered a serious infection after an implant surgery, contact Brown and Crouppen today for a free and confidential case evaluation. We can help you make informed decisions about your legal rights. Please call us at Toll-Free: 877-895-9191 for your free legal consultation or save time with our online Contact Form.