Hip & Knee Surgery Infection News & Info

Infection Risks May Have Been Intentionally Hidden

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.