The goal of the Bair Hugger blanket system is to maintain a patient’s body temperature, which is crucial after surgery and often used in hospitals. This blanket system, manufactured by the 3M Company, uses convective warming to make sure the patient doesn’t get hypothermia, when the body loses heat too quickly.
Forced-air warming, or convective warming, is pushed into a blanket to prevent hypothermia in patients after surgery and maintain a patient’s ideal body temperature.
If a patient’s body temperature is lowered to below 96.9 degrees, there are higher instances of infection, more blood loss, and even an increased rate of death. While the Bair Hugger system seems beneficial, claims have been filed against 3M’s subsidiary, Arizant Healthcare.
These cases allege that the devices release harmful contaminants, including resistant bacteria, from the floor of the operating room during surgery, infecting the sterile surgical site.
As of January 2017, over a thousand cases have been combined in federal court in Minnesota. These cases claim that the manufacturers negligently produced and designed the blanket device.
According to these product liability claims, because of insufficient air flow from the device, the pathogens spread into the surgical site causing infections in the joints, which may lead to more surgery and sometimes amputation.
According to these cases, infections at the surgical site are more common when the Bair Hugger system is used, causing entirely preventable infections. These cases seem to be more prevalent in orthopedic procedures, including those on the hip and knee.
The inventor of the Bair Hugger device, Dr. Scott Augustine, has publicly stated that it should not be used during some surgeries. He claims that the blankets can spread infection and should be avoided in certain orthopedic circumstances.
Despite this, the blankets are still used in hospitals throughout the U.S. without warning to patients of the danger.
If you or a loved one has been injured during a medical procedure using the Bair Hugger warming system, please contact one of our Bair Hugger blanket attorneys today.
We are actively pursuing these cases and we can help your family navigate the legal process of pursuing damages and compensation for the damages, expenses, and hardships you have suffered.