The federal court overseeing more than 1,100 hip and knee replacement infection lawsuits involving the 3M Company’s Bair Hugger forced air warming system convened its most recent conference on January 19th. According to Minutes posted on the website for the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, the Court extended a number of deadlines set forth in the Amended Scheduling Order issued on January 5th.
The Minutes note that the deadline extensions were granted following a joint request from the parties. Per the minutes:
The litigation will convene its next Status Conference on February 16th at 9:30 a.m.
The Bair Hugger litigation involves a surgical warming system used by about 80% of the nation’s hospitals to prevent hypothermia in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgeries and other operations. The Bair Hugger consists of a portable heater connected to an inflatable, single-use blanket via a flexile plastic tube. During surgery, the heater pulls in and warms ambient air. The heater then forces the warmed air into the blanket, which has been draped over the patient.
Plaintiffs who have filed Bair Hugger lawsuits in Minnesota claim that they developed dangerous deep joint infections due to the introduction of contaminants into the open wounds during their implant surgery. They further allege that the Bair Hugger’s design is defective because it alters the flow of air in the operating room. According to the complaints, this causes bacteria from the floor to enter the sterile surgical site. Plaintiffs also assert that the airflow paths of the Bair Hugger’s blower may become contaminated with pathogens that can then be expelled into the room. Finally, they claim that the 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare Inc. have known of the Bair Huggers defects for years, yet have done nothing to mitigate its risks or warn the medical community.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP has been retained by a number of Bair Hugger plaintiffs. If you or a loved one developed a deep joint infection following hip or knee implant surgery, are please call (888) 498-0029 to find out if you qualify to file a case of your own.