Bair Hugger Lawsuits

What is the Bair Hugger?

The Bair Hugger is a forced-air warming device, manufactured by 3M. The device itself is made up of two parts: (1) a warming unit and (2) a disposable blanket. First, the disposable blanket is draped to 'hug' the portion of the patient's body which is not undergoing operation. The warming unit is then connected by a flexible hose to the blanket. As the warming unit generates heated air, the air is forced through the flexible hose and into the blanket. Once the warmed air reaches the blanket it is then forced out over the patient's body through a series of small holes on the underside of the blanket. Once the warmed air flows over the patient's body it then circulates down to the surgical floor. When the warmed air is circulated to the floor it can cause germs and bacteria to be disrupted and recirculated from the floor into the sterile surgical field. Once the bacteria and germs reach the surgical site they can then attach to the patient's knee or hip implant, resulting in a serious deep joint infection. Deep joint infections are difficult to treat and often result in the need for additional surgeries.

Is the Bair Hugger Dangerous?

The inventor of the Bair Hugger, Dr. Scott Augustine, believes that forced-air warming devices should not be used in certain operations, such as knee and hip replacement surgeries, because it poses a danger to patients. According to Dr. Augustine, the forced warm air produced by these devices can cause the spread of bacteria into the surgical site. Recent studies, evaluating this theory, have also shown that the forced-air warming devices may be associated with the disruption of air flow over surgical sites.

Did 3M Know of the Dangers?

Recent lawsuits allege that 3M was well aware of the dangers and risks for deep joint infections posed by the use of their forced-air warming device, the Bair Hugger, during knee and hip replacement surgeries. Despite this knowledge, 3M failed to take any corrective measures, failed to redesign the device to make it safer, took actions to conceal its knowledge of such risks, and failed to warn the medical community and consumers about the increased risk of infection.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the makers of forced-air warming devices for serious deep joint infections. In fact, one lawsuit alleges that a Texas man underwent 15 surgeries in order to treat a deep joint infection which occurred after he underwent knee replacement surgery with a forced-air warming device. Additionally, a patient in Kansas claims that use of a forced-air warming device caused her to develop a serious MRSA infection which led to the amputation of her leg. These cases are just an illustration of some of the horrific injuries and pain and suffering that people throughout the country have experienced as a result of forced-air warming device related infections


Should I File a Lawsuit?

If your case meets the criteria necessary for filing a forced-air warming device lawsuit you may be able to seek compensations for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and disability among other damages. Therefore, if you or someone you know has suffered from a deep joint infection and has undergone one or more of the following treatments and/or adverse conditions: 

- Irrigation and Debridement Surgeries to Treat Infection
- Placement of Antibiotic Spacers/Pearls in the Hip or Knee to Treat Infection 
- Implant Revision Surgeries due to Infection
- Sepsis
- Additional Surgeries to Treat Infection
- Long-Term Antibiotic Treatment
- Amputation of Infected Limb

You should contact the law offices of Pendley, Baudin & Coffin, LLP immediately. Our attorneys are standing by to help patients determine whether or not their serious deep joint infection is related to the use of the forced-air warming device. It is our honor and privilege to serve you in your quest for justice, and we will never charge you fees or costs unless we secure a financial recovery for you. Consultations are confidential and free.