Post-Operative Infections Prompt Bair Hugger Lawsuit
Bair Hugger surgical warming blankets and other forced air surgical warming blankets are routinely used in orthopedic surgery. Reported benefits to patients include reduced bleeding and shortened recovery times. However, deep joint infections have also been linked to use of these products. For patients suffering serious infections and complications after orthopedic surgery, a Bair Hugger lawsuit can bring needed compensation. Olsen Law Offices in San Diego, CA, represents victims who have been adversely affected by defective medical devices. If you experienced a deep joint infection after knee or hip replacement surgery in 2007 or later, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact our office today to set up a free consultation with personal injury attorney Chris Olsen.
Bair Hugger Complications
The Bair Hugger warming blanket uses a forced air heating system to stabilize a patient’s body temperature during surgery. A flexible hose keeps warm air circulating beneath a blanket that is placed over the patient. Regulating a patient's temperature during surgery is vital, and helps with recovery. However, recirculated air can also lead to serious complications. This warm air creates an environment that allows germs and bacteria to enter into open wounds, causing severe infections.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections can be developed in hospital settings, but have been seen in higher numbers after orthopedic surgeries using the Bair Hugger blanket. Patients experience a deep joint infection, which presents with swelling and flu-like symptoms that can lead to worse complications, and require extremely invasive measures to eradicate.
Since MRSA is resistant to antibiotics, a joint infection can be very serious. The bacteria that forms around knee and hip implants often creates a protective shield, making the infection more resistant to antibiotics and the body’s natural immune response. Patients with deep joint infection have been forced to undergo additional surgical procedures, prolonged antibiotic therapies, and in extreme cases, joint fusion or even amputation to remove the virus. If infection is untreated, it can also lead to sepsis, which can trigger inflammatory responses that can be fatal.
About The Lawsuit
The Bair Hugger lawsuit accuses the device's manufacturer, the 3M company, of negligence and wrongdoing, and presents multiple allegations including:
- The company knew about the increased risk of infection associated with the warming blanket and failed to alert doctors and patients.
- The company failed to heed warnings or take steps to redesign the product to improve safety, despite inventor Dr. Scott Augustine speaking against the product and urging action from 3M.
- Attempts were made to conceal or discredit scientific evidence indicating the increased risk of infection to patients.
Had 3M warned healthcare providers and patients about the dangers of their product, many complications would have been prevented. Investigation into the claims alleged in the lawsuits are in the early stages, but supportive evidence is growing.
Chris Olsen has successfully negotiated and litigated hundreds of class action and individual personal injury lawsuits. He has won over $8 million for his clients.
Compensation for Injuries
If you or a loved one experienced an infection following knee or hip replacement surgery, you may have a product liability claim, and should work with an experienced lawyer. Chris Olsen has successfully negotiated and litigated hundreds of class action and individual personal injury lawsuits, and has won over $8 million for his clients. He is an aggressive negotiator and attorney, thorough in assessing current and future damages for injury and wrongful death cases.