Has a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Harmed You?
Bair Hugger Warming Blankets have been used by hospitals since 1988 to help regulate patients’ body temperature during orthopedic surgery. During surgery, almost everyone goes into a hypothermic state in which they lose heat faster than their body can produce it. Even mild hypothermia can prolong recovery from surgery, which is why Bair Hugger Blankets were introduced.
Bair Hugger warming units force warm air through a disposable blanket that covers patients before, during and after surgery. The air is supposed to be spread gently and evenly around the patient’s body to keep them warm.
Unfortunately, Bair Hugger Blankets have had the opposite than intended effect in many cases, prolonging recovery and causing additional hospital stays because of serious infections linked to the device.
Problems with Bair Hugger Warming Blankets
Since its introduction to hospitals and use on over 180 million patients, Bair Hugger Warming Blankets have been linked to incidences of burns due to prolonged exposure, as well as an increased risk of infection. In surgeries that involve implants, there is already a high risk of infection, and warming blankets can increase that risk by contaminating surgical sites. Several different studies have shown that the blankets disrupt ventilation, increase the number of particles near a surgical site and increase the temperature of the surgical drape.
Joint infections are by far the most serious type of infection because there is little to no blood flow into the space between the joints, which means surgery is the only way to treat most joint infections. Some patients require many surgeries to treat infections brought on by the Bair Hugger Warming System and have serious, long-term or even permanent complications.
The inventor of Bair Hugger Blankets, Dr. Scott D. Augustine, resigned from his position with the company in 2002, and has denounced the product and rallied to spread the word that there is a problem – especially during orthopedic surgeries.
Bair Hugger Therapy Lawsuits
3M and Arizant manufacture Bair Hugger Therapy Blankets. Many patients who have developed infections after surgeries that involved Bair Hugger Blankets have filed lawsuits against 3M and Arizant. The lawsuits claim 3M knew about the risks for infection but did not warn healthcare providers about that risk and that they attempted to conceal and discredit scientific data that could be associated with risks linked to the device. These lawsuits seek damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and punitive damages.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury after a Bair Hugger Blanket was used during your surgery, speak with our Texas personal injury attorneys at Roberts & Roberts. Call us at 800-248-6000 for a no-cost or obligation consultation.