The 3M Bair Hugger normothermia system is a product designed to maintain a patient’s body temperature during surgery. Unfortunately, patients have suffered serious infections after being drapped with this potentially defective product.
The 3M Bair Hugger was designed to assist patients in the operating room by keeping their body temperature elevated and prevent hypothermia. While operating, a pump forces warmed air into an inflatable blanket that is draped over the patient.
The hot air that is blown into the blanket creates an air current which is exhausted to the operating room floor. This current can stir up harmful particles and bacteria which can settle in the open surgical area.
As many as 1 in 100 patients undergoing joint replacement surgery develops a serious infection such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which may require further surgical treatment to replace the implant, clean tissue, or amputate a limb, as well as antibiotics.
The device’s designer, Dr. Scott D. Augustine in an article published by The New York Times, urged surgical centers and hospitals to immediately halt use of his invention because of concerns for patient safety.
Furthermore, recent studies such as those published in the medical journal Anesthesia & Analgesia demonstrate the infection dangers created by 3M’s Bair Hugger and similar forced hot air patient warming systems.
Some signs of an infected implant include:
- Wound drainage
- Fever, chills, and night sweats
At this time, no recall has been initiated for 3M Bair Hugger hot air warming blankets.
Can I file a lawsuit if I have have been injured by the 3M Bair Hugger?
Possibly. If a manufacturer produces a dangerous or defective product, it can be held responsible to those who are injured as the result of inadequate warnings, under a legal theory known as “product liability.” Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one has been harmed by the 3M Bair Hugger, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced 3M Bair Hugger lawyer to discuss your legal options. As all legal claims are subject to time limits, however, you may risk forfeiture of your right to financial compensation if you delay.