Have you been harmed by a Bair Hugger® Blanket?
We are now investigating claims of postoperative infections of hip and knee replacements that may be linked to forced air warming and the use of the Bair Hugger® system.
There is concern about Bair Hugger® Therapy used during surgeries involving implants because these surgeries often carry a high risk of contamination. According to multiple studies, the forced-air warming systems could possibly carry a higher risk for contaminating surgical sites than other warming methods.
How Bair Hugger® Therapy Works
Bair Hugger Blankets use temperature management systems that force warm air throughout to prevent and treat hypothermia in patients during surgery. Hypothermia during surgery can lead to blood loss, infections and prolonged hospital stays.
The blankets were invented by Dr. Scott D. Augustine, and they are sold along with warming units and accessories through his company, Augustine Biomedical and Design. Bair Hugger® Therapy is used on more than 180 million patients since being introduced in 1988. More than 80 percent of hospitals in the United States use them today.
Dr. Augustine now states that the blankets should not be used in patients who have had implants (including knee and hip implants and artificial heart valves) because they can potentially spread bacteria linked to infections.
The FDA still hasn’t issued a recall of these medical devices even though many adverse effects have been reported to them. Most reports involve burns from prolonged exposure to heat during surgery or cold air blowing during surgery when the device malfunctioned.
Lawsuits Being Filed
Patients who have developed an infection after surgery that involved the use of Bair Hugger® Therapy have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers, claiming they knew about the risk and attempted to conceal evidence. Compensation for damages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and punitive damages could be awarded.