Hip and Knee Infection Lawsuits No Longer Being Accepted
The product liability Lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously reviewed potential claims for individuals who have suffered an infection following hip or knee replacement surgery since 2010.
Problems with Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Blankets used during most knee and hip replacements may be the cause of complications suffered following surgery, including:
- MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)
- Sepsis (Septic Hip or Knee Infection)
- Deep Joint Infection Requiring Antibiotic Spacers or Additional Surgery
- Wrongful Death
Our Bair Hugger infection lawyers are no longer accepting additional clients or pursuing claims.
What is the 3M Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Blanket?
3M Bair Hugger is a forced-air warming device, which has been used during more than 80% of all hip replacement and knee replacement surgeries in recent years. There are more than 50,000 Bair Hugger warming blankets in hospitals throughout the United States.
Warming during a hip replacement or knee replacement is important, as controlling body temperature shortens recovery time, reduces the risk of bleeding and generally provides better surgical outcomes. However, it appears that there may be serious design defects with the Bair Hugger warmer.
The Bair Hugger consists of a heater and blower, which is connected to a disposable blanket through a plastic tube. The warming blanket is draped over a patient’s body during surgery, and hot air is blown onto exposed areas of the skin.
According to allegations raised in hip infection lawsuits and knee infection lawsuits being pursued on behalf of individuals throughout the United States, the Forced Air Warming (FAW) used by the Bair Hugger may cause bacteria and contaminants on the operating room floor to enter the surgical field, potentially resulting in a severe and devastating infection.
Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Problems
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.
Orthopedic Review – “Forced-air warming: a source of airborne contamination in the operating room?”
American Journal of Infection Control – “Forced-air warming blowers: An evaluation of filtration adequacy and airborne contamination emissions in the operating room”
New York Times – Inventor warns about infection risk with Bair Hugger.
Journal Bone and Joint Surgery – “Forced-air warming and ultra-clean ventilation do not mix”
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery – “Do forced air patient-warming devices disrupt unidirectional downward airflow?”
Anasthesia – “Effect of forced air warming on the performance of operating theatre laminar flow ventilation”
Anesthesia & Analgesia – “Patient warming excess heat: The effects on orthopedic operating room ventilation”
No Fees or Expenses Unless You Receive a Bair Hugger Settlement
Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is a nationally known injury law firm that is focused exclusively on representing individuals, we do not represent corporations or insurance companies.
Over the course of more than 40 years, our personal injury lawyers have collected more than $1 billion in compensation for our clients in cases of medical malpractice, automobile accidents, product liability and other personal injury lawsuits.
All Bair Hugger knee or hip infection lawsuits were handled by our attorneys on a contingency fee basis, which means that there were never any out-of-pocket expenses to hire our law firm and we only receive a fee if compensation is secured for our client.