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Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP | Dec 15, 2015

Serious Infections Linked to 3M Bair Hugger Warmer Usage

Categories: Product Liability

Created in 1988, the Bair Hugger was looked to be a revolution in the surgery world. Designed to maintain body heat within surgery patients, the device is one-time use. Hospital staff can place the device around, over, or under the patient. The blanket is attached to a heater, which blows warm/hot air so that the body can appropriately regulate its temperature.

While the device is meant to revolutionize the surgery industry, it may cause more harm than good. The Bone and Joint Journal published a study that found because the heater pulled air from the contaminated floor of the operating room, it spread the germs across the surgery site. The study found 2,000 times more contaminants in the air when the Bair Hugger was used, compared to the HotDog warmers.

One of the main concerns over using the Bair Huggers is that it can lead to deep joint infections. Patients who receive a joint implant surgery or a heart valve implant are more susceptible to dangerous infections. Even if a single bacteria lands on the implant, it can create a biofilm, which can resist antibodies and antibiotics. Most patients require IV antibiotics to fix the problem. However, in more serious cases, the limb may need to be amputated.

Aware of the device risks, the FDA found the manufacturers committing violations. In two cases, the Bair Hugger caught on fire, while in another incident the device malfunctioned, causing the patient to turn hypothermic. In two incidents, the manufacturers failed to report the events to the Food and Drug Administration.

If you sustained injuries because of the 3M Bair Hugger, contact our product liability attorney today. We can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Don’t let these mistakes go unanswered.