Operating rooms typically have an air-flow system that pushes cool air down and draws it away through return air inlets. This is specially designed to keep any bacteria or contaminants out of the surgical field.
Bair Hugger lawsuits allege that problems with forced air warming may disrupt these airflow systems, potentially increasing the risk of infection for hip surgery and knee surgery patients by pushing “dirty” particles off of the floor and into the surgical area.
Claims also allege that there appear to be problems with the efficiency of the air filtration system with Bair Hugger blowers, potentially resulting in pathogens contaminating the internal airflow paths. This contaminated air may be blown into the surgical blanket covering the patient and escape into the operating room.
Hot air from the surgical warming blanket has a lower density than cold air circulated in the operating room, which may allow the heated air to rise into the sterile field. Experts have indicated that the forced air warmer creates a ”vortex-like turbulence” or ”convection current”, which may allow contaminants or particles from the floor to be pushed up.
Forced Air Warming Infection Risks
A number of published studies have examined the potential risk of Bair Hugger infection problems, providing support for claims being pursued by our hip and knee surgery lawyers.
Researchers have found substantial increases in the temperature and number of particles over the surgical site when Bair Hugger forced air warming was used. This has raised concerns, since bacteria are known to require particles for transport.
It appears that the forced-air warming design may cause patients to face a higher risk of infection following hip or knee surgery when compared to other available surgical warming blankets. Lawsuits allege that many individuals may have avoided severe and debilitating infections if safer alternative warming systems had been used during their surgery.
Rather than providing accurate and complete warnings, making design changes to the warming blanket or issuing a Bair Hugger recall, the manufacturer has provided false and misleading information about the infection risk to consumers and the medical community. As a result, financial compensation may be available for infections following hip or knee surgery.
SUBMIT INFO ABOUT INFECTION PROBLEMS