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An initial conference between attorneys and the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal Bair Hugger lawsuits has been ordered for February 2016. The meeting will focus on the organization of the multidistrict litigation, including policies for filing new cases and selecting plaintiffs attorneys to act as leaders throughout the process. This is the next step in a long line of steps required for victims of the Bair Hugger medical device to fight for the justice they deserve.

About the Bair Hugger Lawsuits

The Bair Hugger is a warming blanket that has been used in surgical theaters across the nation for decades. Designed to pump air from the room’s floor up to the surgical patient to keep them warm during the procedure, the Bair Hugger is now believed to be dangerous – especially for those undergoing hip or knee surgery. The device allows bacteria to enter the otherwise sterile surgical site, often causing infections in patients. For hip and knee surgery patients, there is extra risk, given how deep into the bone the surgeons must go. Should bacteria make its way into the surgical site, there are dangerous ramifications.

Complications include: MRSA, sepsis, amputation, additional surgeries, and even wrongful death. 

Currently, there are at least 82 hip infection lawsuits and knee infection lawsuits associated with the Bair Hugger. Undoubtedly, there are many more victims who will come forward with their stories and seek legal action against the makers of the Bair Hugger. Multidistrict litigation has been ordered to prevent conflicting rulings from different courts. This initial conference will begin to set the tone for what will surely be a critical case for patients, doctors and the healthcare industry alike.

Hip & Knee Surgery Infection Lawyers

Our attorneys are currently investigating potential claims for anyone who has suffered an infection following a hip or knee replacement surgery. If you’d like to speak with us about your situation, contact us to setup a free consultation 877-544-5323.

The number of Bair Hugger surgical warming blanket lawsuits continues to increase as concerns grow about their use. Forced-air warming blankets, such as the Bair Hugger, are used during orthopedic surgeries to regulate a patient’s body temperature. However, recent lawsuits claim that forced air-warming blankets may potentially increase the risk for serious infections.

Why? Simply put, orthopedic surgeries take longer than most other kinds of surgeries. Forced-air warming blankets, such as the Bair Hugger, push warm air through a hose into a blanket that surrounds the patient. The longer the a forced-air warming blanket is used, the greater the chance for germs to travel up from the surgery theater floor and onto the patient. Too often, deep infection tragically leads to amputations. Patients undergoing surgery for knee or hip replacements have experienced such complications after a forced-air warming blanket was used.

The Center for Disease Control reports than more than 7 million Americans are living with implants like knee and hip replacements. It’s easy to believe that many of these patients were operated on while a forced-air warming blanket was in use.

As the lawsuits continue to make headlines, more victims will undoubtedly come forward with their stories. If you or a loved one experienced infection following a hip or knee surgery  consider reaching out to an attorney to discuss your situation.

Hip & Knee Surgery Infection Lawyers

Our attorneys are currently investigating potential claims for anyone who has suffered an infection following a hip or knee replacement surgery. Common complications include: MRSA, sepsis, amputation, additional surgeries, and even wrongful death. If you’d like to speak with us about your situation, contact us to setup a free consultation 877-544-5323.

Dozens of Bair Hugger lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation. The suits all allege the same complaint: that the medical device known as the Bair Hugger forced-air warming devices caused contaminants from the operating room floor to enter the surgical site. The Bair Hugger has been used in hospitals around the country to keep patients warm during surgery. The device acts as a warming blanket, keeping warm air circulating from the floor to the patient. There is evidence that the Bair Hugger can cause contamination and infection in surgical patients.

Some patients who the Bair Hugger was used on claim the device caused severe infection. Others cite the Bair Hugger and its contamination as the ultimate reason for the amputation of their limb. Once infection sets in, it can be difficult to combat, especially in a patient recovering from surgery.

The consolidation of these lawsuits will allow for one judge to oversee all the various claims related to this issue. By bringing the complaint before a single judge, it becomes a centralized process for the hundreds – if not thousands – of victims to pursue their claim against the manufacturer of the Bair Hugger, 3M.

Lawsuits allege, 3M knew of the potential for contamination for years but did nothing to alert doctors of the risks or make changes to the design of the Bair Hugger. Studies have found that use of the forced air warming blanket may cause increases in the number of particles in the air near a surgical wound, as well as increased rates of hip and knee infections following joint replacement surgeries.

Hip & Knee Surgery Infection Lawyers

Our attorneys are currently investigating potential claims for anyone who has suffered an infection following a hip or knee replacement surgery. Common complications include: MRSA, sepsis, amputation, additional surgeries, and even wrongful death. If you’d like to speak with us about your situation, contact us to setup a free consultation 877-544-5323.

A 70 year-old Houston man claims that a commonly used surgical device caused a serious infection.

The device in question, manufactured by 3M, is the Bair Hugger patient warming system. The device maintains a steady flow of warm air for patients undergoing surgery. This is a crucial function since patients under anesthesia lose the ability to regulate their body temperature. Consistent temperature also reduces the risk of surgical infections and complications.

In this case, the patient and his attorney* contend that the device expelled air underneath the operating table. This exhaust was then recirculated back into his hip replacement device after being contaminated.

According to Pioneer Press, the results were a nightmare. The patient required fifteen additional surgeries to repair infection damage, and ended up without the hip replacement. The injury is permanently disabling.

The Bair Hugger is manufactured by Arizant Healthcare, a company acquired by 3M in 2010 for $810 million. Both 3M and Arizant are named in the suit.

This is not the first time the Bair Hugger’s safety has been called into question. In fact, one of its greatest critics is its own inventor, Dr. Scott Augustine. Since leaving Arizant in 2002, he has referred to five peer-reviewed studies that link it to a so-called “contamination phenomenon.”

Alternatives to the Bair Hugger do exist, but it is popular because it keeps the rest of the operating room at a reasonable temperature. Augustine himself is proposing a new air-free version called the Hot Dog that works like an electric blanket.

A 3M spokesman reported that the company is “very confident” in the device’s safety, but insists they will investigate “the circumstances of this incident.”

Hip & Knee Surgery Infection Lawyers

Our attorneys are currently investigating potential claims for anyone who has suffered an infection following a hip or knee replacement surgery. Common complications include: MRSA, sepsis, amputation, additional surgeries, and even wrongful death. If you’d like to speak with us about your situation, contact us to setup a free consultation 877-544-5323.

*Please note that we are not the attorneys handling the case mentioned in this story.

The arguments for a consolidation of similar lawsuits has begun in Minnesota, with far-reaching consequences at stake.

The Bair Hugger forced-air warming medical device has been in use for years. Because doctors and nurses need to remain alert and focused during their work, surgical theaters are often kept quite chilly. Keeping the patient warm is critical to the overall healing process. The Bair Hugger acts like a medical grade warming blanket, with warm air pumped from an external heater on the floor. And therein lies the problem, some say.

The Problem with Forced-Air Warming Blankets

Floors anywhere are subjected to germs from shoes, dust, and other grime. Hospital floors are kept as clean as they can be, but inevitably, they too become dirty. Surgeons take every precaution to sterilize their work areas, but the floor is often forgotten. When warm air is pumped up using the Bair Hugger, pathogens are bound to travel to the surgical site. Infection can easily set in, especially during orthopedic surgery where work is being done deep in the joint. In addition, the metal hip or knee replacement can help the infection spread.

Infections, Major Complications for the Patient

In some cases, infections can lead to more surgery and even amputations. The Bair Hugger lawsuits insist that the device is what caused their infection and caused prolonged pain and suffering beyond what their original surgery was helping to treat. The Bair Hugger blankets are only used once and are disposed of after use – but the heater and forced air system are used time and time again.

Hip & Knee Surgery Infection Lawyers

Our attorneys are currently investigating potential claims for anyone who has suffered an infection following a hip or knee replacement surgery. Common complications include: MRSA, sepsis, amputation, additional surgeries, and even wrongful death. If you’d like to speak with us about your situation, contact us to setup a free consultation 877-544-5323.

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Device May Lead to Infection After Surgery

A commonly used surgical device has drawn criticism from its creator and has become the center of more than 50 lawsuits. Lawsuits allege the Bair Hugger system, used in more than 200 million surgeries since 1987, may increase the risk of serious infection during surgery.

Forced-air warming blankets used to keep patients warm during surgery, uses air pumped in from a warming unit on the floor. Imagine the germs on your average surgery room floor, and you begin to see the problem. Studies have shown that forced-air warming blankets, such as the Bair Hugger system, may increase the number of airborne particles around the surgery site.

If an infection occurs, it can get deep inside the joints, causing ongoing pain and suffering for the patient. Some require follow up surgeries; others need amputation of the limbs.

Creator Says Product is Dangerous

3M, the company behind the Bair Hugger, insists their product is safe. Dr. Scott Augustine, the Bair Hugger inventor, reportedly warned 3M of the potential for waste heat to stir up contaminants within the product when they bought the product. Still, the company stands by the Bair Hugger in spite of the dozens of plaintiffs arguing against the device.

Dr. Scott Augustine, has since invented an alternative method of keeping patients warm during surgery. The Hot Dog uses conductive heat like an electric blanket does, rather than pumping in potentially contaminated air.

Hip & Knee Surgery Infection Lawyers

Our attorneys are currently investigating potential claims for anyone who has suffered an infection following a hip or knee replacement surgery. Common complications include: MRSA, sepsis, amputation, additional surgeries, and even wrongful death. If you’d like to speak with us about your situation, contact us to setup a free consultation 877-544-5323.

Device Used During Hip & Knee Surgery May Spread Infection

Patients under anesthesia during surgery pose a number of risks. For one, anesthesia can remove the body’s ability to self-regulate its temperature. As a result, specialized tools have been developed to keep patients warm and safe during this critical time.

A popular solution is a forced-air system that circulates hot air around the patient. One of the most prominent systems is the Bair Hugger from manufacturer 3M. Unfortunately, the Bair Hugger has come under scrutiny for its safety, specifically its ability to spread infection while patients are most vulnerable.

Infection Lawsuits

Outpatient Surgery Magazine reports that the Bair Hugger is the subject of fifteen recent lawsuits, all tied to its effects during joint replacement surgery. The effects are graphic and distressing. One patient had to undergo amputation after a staph infection during surgery. Another required fifteen extra surgeries to correct the Bair Hugger’s effects on his first surgery.

Bair Hugger Inventor Says Risks Intentionally Hidden

The most ardent detractor of the Bair Hugger is, ironically, its inventor Dr. Scott Augustine. He alleges that the Bair Hugger’s infection risks were known as early as 2010 and intentionally hidden to maintain sales. 3M, of course, denies this. 3M’s attorney Christina Jacxsens claims that “In its entire history, not one hospital, doctor, or medical provider has reported a single confirmed incidence of infection believed to be caused by the Bair Hugger device.” Augustine has since invented a new air-free, electric device to use for patient warming.

Opinion in the medical community is divided. The Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) says that the studies showing a risk of infection are either flawed or inconclusive, and says that their continued use is safe until large-scale trials are conducted.

The Bair Hugger has been used on over 200 million patients.

Hip & Knee Surgery Infection Lawyers

Our attorneys are currently investigating potential claims for anyone who has suffered an infection following a hip or knee replacement surgery. Common complications include: MRSA, sepsis, amputation, additional surgeries, and even wrongful death. If you’d like to speak with us about your situation, contact us to setup a free consultation 877-544-5323.