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Bair Hugger Warming Blankets and Post-operative Infections

Mass Tort Attorneys Seek Damages for Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Injuries

Aggressive representation for victims of post-surgery joint infections

Hypothermia during and after surgery is a serious threat to patients. But a popular device used to keep patients warm may have actually exposed them to an even greater risk: deadly post-operative infection. The device is the Bair Hugger warming blanket, which has been linked to a high incidence of infection among surgical patients, especially those receiving knee and hip replacements. If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to a defective Bair Hugger warming blanket, the mass tort attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban are ready to help. The 3M Company, which manufactures the blanket, has vowed to fight all claims against its product. The outcome of your case may depend on your attorney’s capacity to take on a powerful defendant. Our law firm is known for our aggressive litigation style and our determination to win. We are ready to fight for you.

Background of the Bair Hugger warming blanket

The Bair Hugger warming blanket is a disposable, single-use cover originally produced by Arizant Healthcare Inc. The device operates by inflating with warm air from a hose connected to a portable heater. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the blankets for use in surgery in 1987, and the product has come to dominate the market for such devices. The 3M Company acquired Arizant in 2010, and the company continues to operate as a subsidiary.

In 2010, concerns arose when Dr. Scott Augustine, the blanket’s inventor, stated publicly he no longer supported the blanket’s use for surgery, because the “forced air” method of warming could increase the temperature and concentration of airborne particles, thus spreading harmful bacteria linked to dangerous hospital-acquired infections.  However, the FDA did not “identify a consistently reported association between the use of forced air thermal regulating systems and surgical site infection.” Therefore, the Bair Hugger warming blanket is still widely used in surgical procedures throughout the country.

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Harm from hospital infections linked to forced-air warming blankets

The nature of infection from this device is such that it could take more than a year to discover the injury. This means you might not associate your symptoms with your surgery. Symptoms can include:

  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Blood in urine
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, chills, and night sweats
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Pneumonia
  • Redness and/or swelling over the incision area
  • Warm skin
  • Wound drainage

The danger of a post-surgical infection cannot be overstated, especially when it involves sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection that causes your immune system to attack your tissues and organs, and/or MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacteria resistant to many antibiotics.  Eventual harm reported by victims includes:

  • Amputation
  • Extended hospitalization
  • Revision surgery
  • Debridement of infected tissue
  • Long-term antibiotic use

If you or a loved one has suffered any of these effects after surgical use of a Bair Hugger warming blanket, our mass tort lawyers are ready to fight for the full, fair compensation you deserve.

Contact our mass tort lawyers if you’ve been harmed by a Bair Hugger warming blanket

If you’ve been harmed by the use of a Bair Hugger warming blanket in conjunction with your surgery, Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban is prepared to help. Challenging a powerful defendant such as the 3M Company requires experience, resources and determination. But when it comes to victims’ rights, we never waiver. Call us today at (877) 428-1122 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. For your convenience, we have offices throughout North Carolina, South Carolina & Virginia.
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