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More than a Dozen Lawsuits Allege Infections Caused by Bair Hugger Warming Blanket

At least 14 lawsuits have been filed against 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare Inc. in federal courts across the country in connection with their Bair Hugger warming blanket. The blanket was first introduced in 1988 by anesthesiologist Dr. Scott Augustine and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but is now manufactured by 3M and Arizant. Bair Hugger offers 25 styles of blankets used from pediatric to geriatric, and brief outpatient procedures to long complex procedures.

It is currently used in 90-percent of all surgical procedures in the U.S. to maintain a surgical patient’s body temperature by using a portable blower to force warm air through a hose onto a disposable blanket draped over the patient. The lawsuits allege, however, that by introducing the warm air, it disrupts normal airflow in the operating room allowing bacteria to circulate and enter incisions and cause infections. These infections have created additional medical problems and procedures for patients, including premature replacement of their prosthetic devices and amputations.

Concerns have also been expressed that the Bair Hugger is not appropriate during invasive knee and hip replacement surgery. In one lawsuit, it suggests that during revision surgery for a hip implant, a serious MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection was introduced and delivered through the sterile surgical site by the forced-air design of the Bair Hugger. The resulting infection is alleged to have caused serious injury to the plaintiff, who required 6 surgical procedures in fewer than 11 months in order to treat what proved to be a difficult and persistent deep-joint infection. At one point, the patient’s hip had to be completely removed in order to treat the infected area.

The lawsuits allege that 3M and Arizant have been aware of the risk posed by the device since at least 2009, but have continued to market the device as safe. There are currently more than 50,000 units in use in the U.S.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury after surgery, contact Knapp & Roberts’ expert Personal Injury Attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona. We have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered. Let us help you tell your story. Call us at 480-991-7677 or fill out the Do I Have a Case Form on our website for your free initial consultation.

Let us tell your story

we care, and we can help. Contact us 480-991-7677 or fill out the form below

The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.