Class Action

Bair Hugger Lawsuit

3M is facing thousands of lawsuits over complications patients suffered from Bair Hugger warming blankets used during surgery. These medical products have been linked to severe, potentially life-threatening infections, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

If you suffered an infection or other complications from a Bair Hugger warming blanket, contact our trusted defective medical device lawyers for a free consultation. We may be able to file a Bair hugger lawsuit on your behalf to help you pursue compensation for the medical expenses and other damages you are dealing with.

The attorneys at our firm can manage every aspect of your defective medical device lawsuit, including the investigation, filing your case and representing you in all legal proceedings. We understand how devastating an injury from a defective medical product can be and are committed to fighting to protect your rights.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call 410-244-7005 right now.

Dangers of Bair Hugger Warming System

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Bair Hugger warming system in 1987. The forced-air warming system pumps warm air through a blanket placed over patients to help prevent hypothermia and maintain patients' normal core body temperature during surgery. They are commonly used in joint replacement surgeries for the knee and hip.

Bair hugger warming systems quickly became popular in hospitals across the nation and have been used more than 200 million times since 1987, according to the Bair hugger website.

However, in December 2010, The New York Times published an article in which the doctor who invented the Bair hugger system claimed the device poses a danger to patients. The inventor said forced air can spread bacteria over the surgical site, which can cause infections.

Multiple studies and thousands of lawsuits have linked Bair hugger warming systems to deep joint infections, such as MRSA, which can cause dangerous health problems like:

  • Skin infections
  • Sepsis
  • Bloodstream infections
  • Pneumonia

In some cases, the infection gets so bad that the victim has to have a limb amputated. Other victims require additional medical treatment, including:

  • Corrective surgery, including surgery to replace an infected implant
  • Extended hospital stays
  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • Physical therapy
  • Inserting antibiotic spacers in the joint

Symptoms of an Infection

If you had joint replacement surgery where a Bair hugger warming blanket was used, watch for signs of a joint infection, such as:

  • Swelling
  • Warmth at the surgical site
  • Severe pain at the surgical site
  • Inability to move the limb
  • Fatigue or general weakness
  • Fever
  • Redness around the wound
  • Drainage

If you notice any signs of an infection, seek medical treatment immediately. Waiting to seek treatment could allow the infection to spread and get worse, which could lead to serious complications, like an amputation or the need for surgery to replace the implant.

After seeking medical treatment, contact an attorney about filing a Bair hugger lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical bills and other damages.

Call The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl today at 410-244-7005.

Studies on Bair Hugger Warming Blankets

Multiple studies have shown a link between the Bair hugger warming system and infections and other complications after joint surgery.

In November 2011, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery published the results of an investigation comparing heat-conducive fabric and forced-air warming technologies, like the Bair Hugger system, during simulated hip replacement and lumbar spinal procedures. Researchers found a significant increase in deep joint infection when forced-air warming was used compared to conducive fabric warming.  

Another study published in February 2012, found forced-air warming technology can form air currents that disrupt airflow that can help clear airborne bacteria from the surgical site. This could increase the risk of infection when devices like the Bair hugger warming system are used. The study was published in the Journal of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.   

One year later, The Bone & Joint Journal published a study revealing that forced-air patient warming blankets disrupt unidirectional airflow. In other words, forced-air warming could potentially draw bacteria and other contaminants from below the surgical site onto the patient at the surgical site.

A study published in August 2013 reached a similar conclusion. This study, published in Anesthesia & Analgesia, found that excess heat from forced air warming disrupted airflow over the surgical site, which could expose patients to airborne bacteria and other contaminants.

Despite this research and the thousands of Bair hugger lawsuits that have been filed, the FDA has not released a warning or recommended that doctors and hospitals discontinue using these devices.

Contact us today about filing a lawsuit. Complete a Free Case Evaluation form.

Bair Hugger Lawsuits

The first Bair hugger lawsuit was filed in 2013. Thousands more lawsuits followed, and many were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Minnesota federal court in 2015.

Of the 4,414 Bair hugger lawsuits that have been added to the MDL, 4,215 are still pending. The judge in charge of the MDL has selected several lawsuits as bellwether cases that will be tried separately in 2018. The outcome of these lawsuits will help the court determine if the other lawsuits should move forward. The outcome of the bellwether cases could also factor into any settlement offers made in these other cases.

So far, none of the Bair hugger lawsuits that have been filed have been resolved, either through a settlement or jury verdict.

3M maintains that Bair hugger warming systems are safe. Officials have cited the results of more than 170 studies and 60 randomized clinical trials as evidence that these products are safe.

If you suffered an injury after a surgical procedure involving a Bair hugger warming blanket, contact us today about filing a Bair hugger lawsuit.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.

Contact Us to Discuss a Bair Hugger Lawsuit

Have you suffered an infection because a Bair hugger warming blanket was used during your surgical procedure?

You could be entitled to compensation through a Bair hugger lawsuit. You could obtain compensation for medical bills and other costs related to your injuries.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl can carefully review your situation to determine all of your legal options. We will review your case in a free consultation and there will be no fees or costs unless you receive compensation.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call 410-244-7005.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.

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