The Bair Hugger & the Danger of Infection
If you or a family membered suffered an infection as a result of using the Bair Hugger warming blanket during surgery, most commonly hip and knee replacement joint surgery, we can help you to evaluate your case at no cost to you.
What is the Bair Hugger?
Research shows that a patient’s body temperature drops when receiving anesthesia during surgery. In order to keep patients warm, the Bair Hugger was invented over two decades ago and changed surgical practices. The Bair Hugger is essentially a warming blanket. The device works like a forced-air heater and carries warm air through a hose to a special blanket that is draped over a patient. The Bair Hugger has become widely used in surgeries nationwide.
This is problematic because the forced air from the Bair Hugger can spread severe infections from hospital bacteria. Even the inventor of the Bair Hugger himself, anesthesiologist Dr. Scott D. Augustine, warns that this device may pose serious safety risks to certain patients.
Studies have shown that the forced air warming of the Bair Hugger can compromise the sterility of the surgical environment by causing air to pass directly into the surgical site – increasing airborne infection. Surgical patients receiving implant devices like artificial heart valves and knee and joint replacement patients are at higher risk of infection when using the Bair Hugger. In one terrible case, a Michigan man suffered an infection during a joint replacement surgery and required 15 subsequent surgeries. In yet another lawsuit, a man from Texas suffered an antibiotic-resistant infection in what was supposed to be a routine hip replacement surgery.
While these are extreme examples, quite a few patients have developed infections after use of the device in irrigation of the surgical sit, revision surgery, antibiotic regimens because of deep joint infections. Manufacturers 3M Company and Arizant HealthCare did not adequately warn patients or doctors about the dangers of infections, which is caused by the forced air pushing contaminants to surgical sites or even contaminating previously sterile air according to studies. Resulting infections can include staph infections, blood (sepsis) infections.
Symptoms indicative of such infections can include swelling or redness or warmth and drainage over the joint area or surgical incision, excessive fatigue and difficulty regulating temperature with fever, chills, and night sweats, pain and stiffness in a joint functioning okay before causing difficulty moving. Infections caused by Bair Hugger devices can lead to longer hospital stays and more surgeries (including the difficulty of having to remove and/or replace the hip or knee implant or to have to place antibiotic spacers into the joint, and even amputations.
Though the FDA is still evaluating the link between Bair Hugger devices and infections after joint surgeries, these complications are severe and should be reviewed to safeguard your legal rights.
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We will fight to achieve justice for you. If you or somebody you know suffered an infection after surgery, you should speak to an Attorney immediately for a free case consultation.
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