Bair Hugger Blankets Have Caused Serious Infections and Injuries to Patients

Kreisman Law Offices is reviewing and handling lawsuits on behalf of patients who have suffered infections following knee, hip or other joint replacement surgeries. The lawsuits currently in place allege that 3M’s Bair Hugger warming blanket, which is widely used in hospitals across the country, are the cause of devastating injuries related to infection. Surgical patients exposed to the use of the Bair Hugger blanket have been known to be contaminated by the air in operating rooms that many times causes infections leading to sepsis and MRSA.

Many of the pending lawsuits have named Arizant Healthcare and 3M Company, charging the companies that the Bair Hugger warming blankets have manufactured, designed and distributed are defective and cause severe and debilitating infections. It has been alleged in the lawsuits that the manufacturers and distributors have known about the infection risks for more than 6 years and have chosen not to warn hospitals, doctors and patients about the dangers.

The 3M Bair Hugger is a warming blanket that uses forced air designed to keep the patient’s body temperature at a normal range. It is used principally during hip and knee replacement surgeries. The Bair Hugger device forces warm air through a hose into a special blanket that is draped over the patient in the surgical suite.

The Bair Hugger warming blanket is used in 80% of U.S. hospitals. It has been reported that as many as 165 million patients have been exposed to the Bair Hugger warming blanket since it was first introduced in the early 1990s. There are more than 50,000 Bair Hugger warming blanket units in use.

The main cause of the spread of infection with the use of the Bair Hugger warming blanket is by way of air contaminants. Bacteria that are airborne are the cause of the infections that allow the deposit of contaminated airborne bacteria from the operating room to be lodged in the open areas of the patient’s body during surgery.

During the surgery, warm air passes over the patient’s exposed skin and surgical openings, which creates the joint infections. Usually patients exposed to the bacteria contract infections that require a 2-step revision surgery, including the removal of the original implants with the replacement of an antibiotic spacer for as long as 6-8 weeks followed by the replacement of a new device. Obviously the process is not just dangerous but is expensive and risky. Some of the patients who have suffered from infections by the Bair Hugger warming blanket have undergone a combination of surgeries and antibiotic therapy. In the most severe cases, amputation, joint fusion and second surgeries occur.

In special circumstances, patients are at higher risk for developing infection after a knee or hip replacement because of diabetes, immune deficiencies, immunosuppressive treatments, obesity and peripheral vascular disease. When joint infection is diagnosed early, there is great chance of recovery by the proper treatment. If you have symptoms of infection, contact your medical provider immediately.

Kreisman Law Offices is currently reviewing potential lawsuits regarding the Bair Hugger warming blankets for patients affected from around the country. Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical defect lawsuits, dietary supplement lawsuits, pharmaceutical defect cases and product liability cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of another for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including, Maywood, Kenilworth, Harvard, Berwyn, Crete, Beecher, Matteson, Chicago Heights, South Chicago Heights, Barrington and New Lenox, Ill.

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