Forced Air Warmer Lawsuit Center


 

A number of forced air warmer lawsuits have recently been filed in U.S. courts on behalf of patients who were allegedly harmed by the 3M Bair Hugger. These filings come as evidence accumulates suggesting that forced air warmer blankets like the Bair Hugger increase the risk that joint replacement patients will experience dangerous complications, including MRSA, sepsis and deep joint infections. Among other things, plaintiffs in 3M Bair Hugger lawsuits claim that this risk was known for years, and accuse 3M of failing to warn healthcare providers about the dangers associated with the device.

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now offering free, no-obligation legal evaluations to individuals who developed hip and knee replacement infections that might be associated with the 3M Bair Hugger. Our attorneys are also investigating personal injury claims on behalf of patients who have allegedly suffered forced air warmer burns during such procedures. If you or a loved one experienced any of these complications, please contact our office today by callingto learn how our Firm’s legal staff can help you obtain compensation for your medical bills and other associated damages.

Hip and Knee Replacement Infection Lawsuits

Studies have shown that keeping a patient warm during hip or knee replacement surgery can lead to less bleeding, faster recovery time, and other benefits. As such, forced air warming systems, fluid warming systems, intravenous fluid warming, and warming blankets and pads, are utilized during such procedures to keep the patient’s core body temperature as close to normal as possible. The 3M Bair Hugger system consists of a portable heater/blower connected by a flexible hose to a disposable blanket that blows hot air on a patient’s exposed skin. The device was brought to market over two decades ago by Dr. Scott D. Augustine. However, according to a report published by The New York Times in 2010, Dr. Augustine has since cautioned hospitals against using the Bair Hugger system with implantable devices, and asserts that it may spread bacteria associated with hospital-acquired infections when it is utilized in this way. In 2012, a scientific paper published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reported increased particulate counts with forced warming compared to radiant warming. “The convection currents increased the particle concentration 1000-fold (2 174 000 particles/m3 for forced-air warming vs 1000 particles/m3 for radiant warming and 2000 particles/m3 for the control) by drawing potentially contaminated particles from below the operating table into the surgical site,” the study noted.

Since Dr. Augustine issued his warning, a number of 3M Bair Hugger lawsuits have been filed in U.S. courts over the device’s alleged association with MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections. These complaints allege that the forced air warmer blanket can disturb or “kick-up” air near the floor of operating rooms. As such, any bacteria and contaminants present on the floor may come in contact with the patient and lead to serious complications, including an increased risk of deep joint infections and other hospital-acquired infections. At least one such hip replacement infection lawsuit is currently pending in Texas, and claims that 3M’s device caused a 70-year-old man to develop a serious deep joint infection in 2011. As a result, the plaintiff was forced to undergo 15 additional surgeries. A knee replacement infection lawsuit filed in Kansas blames the 3M Bair Hugger for a MRSA infection that led to the amputation of the plaintiff’s leg. As evidence by these two cases, patients who develop infections as a result of forced air blankets face a long and difficult recovery. Treatment to get the infection under control and repair resulting damage may include:

  • Multiple hospitalizations
  • Additional surgeries
  • Insertion of antibiotic spacers in the infected joint
  • IV antibiotic therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Removal and revision of the implant device
  • Amputation

Learn More about Filing A Forced Air Warmer Lawsuit

Because of the difficult recovery they face, hip and knee replacement patients who experienced serious hospital-acquired infections or other complications due to a forced air warmer blanket may be entitled to receive compensation for their injury related damages, including:

  • Payment for hospital bills, surgeries and other medical procedures, and prescription medications
  • Compensation for physicians’ fees
  • Reimbursement for lab tests, imaging studies, and diagnostic tests
  • Payment for lost wages and loss of future earning capacity
  • Restitution for permanent disability

If you are interested in pursuing a 3M Bair Hugger lawsuit, Bernstein Liebhard LLP can help. For more than two decades, our attorneys have worked diligently to protect the rights of the injured, recovering more than $3 billion on behalf of our clients. For a free, no-obligation review of your case, please contact our office today by calling 212-779-1414.

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