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Anyone who has undergone a major joint replacement surgery can attest to the feelings of anxiety such procedures often produce. However, given the relatively common nature of such operations, patients can generally expect a positive outcome marked by few, if any, problems along the way.

However, recently serious complaints have surfaced related to a warming blanket widely used in hip and knee replacement surgeries. If you experienced or are experiencing a deep joint infection after a joint replacement in North Carolina, a Raleigh Bair Hugger lawyer may be able to help. Contact an experienced device liability attorney to begin your claim.

Key Facts About the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket

Manufactured by 3M, the Bair Hugger warming blanket is a single-use medical device characterized by inflatable tubing that is filled with hot air. These blankets are designed for placement on surgical patients to prevent dangerous heat loss prior to joint replacement surgery.

On the market since 1987, these forced-air blankets have been utilized in millions of operations. Now, however, they are the focal point of litigation on a widespread scale initiated by plaintiffs across the country.

Dangers Posed by Bair Hugger Devices

Critics of the Bair Hugger blankets argue that the forced-air method of heating employed by these devices pushes airborne contaminants upward from the surgical table into the open wounds of patients. The result, according to plaintiffs in current lawsuits, is a deep joint infection that can prove painful, debilitating, and costly to treat.

According to attorneys for victims in previous cases, the warming mechanism in Bair Hugger devices has the potential to disrupt the sterile air flow of the surgical theater, as the unit’s waste heat produces currents capable of distributing bacteria and other germs from the floor to the site of the joint replacement.

Plaintiffs in the Bair Hugger Multi District Litigation allege that 3M placed a defective and unreasonably dangerous product into the stream of commerce, that the blankets were negligently manufactured, that insufficient testing was performed, and that the company failed to warn of the known infection risks and misrepresented the product’s safety.

Deep Joint Infections Stemming from Bair Hugger Use

The type of joint infections allegedly caused by Bair Hugger blankets requires swift diagnosis and prompt treatment to minimize the possibility of lasting harm. Symptoms characteristic of such infections include joint stiffness, pain, fever, chills, fatigue, redness at the wound site, drainage and swelling.

While antibiotic treatment alone may prove successful in some cases, there are other instances in which joint fusion, multiple-stage revision procedures, or sometimes amputation may be necessary.

Seeking Compensation for Victims in Raleigh Bair Hugger Cases

The manufacturers of the medical devices on which many people must rely have a duty to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the tools and equipment they market to physicians, patients, and the public at large.

When these corporate giants fail to meet their responsibilities and serious harm results, a Raleigh Bair Hugger lawyer could work aggressively to obtain monetary compensation for the victims of such dangerous and damaging negligence.