Have You Experienced a Bair Hugger Infection?
Bair Hugger warming blankets are commonly used during a range of medical procedures and operations. They use what’s known as forced-air warming or FAW to keep patients warm and to prevent hypothermia, which can lead to excessive blood loss during an operation. While Bair Hugger warming blankets remain a staple throughout the medical community, some patients have complained that the blankets have lead to the spread of harmful bacteria, resulting in infection. These patients are gearing up for a lengthy legal battle later this year, with lawsuits making their way through the court system. If you believe that you have been a victim of a Bair Hugger infection, learn more about the options available to you.
What Are Bair Hugger Warming Blankets?
Bair Hugger warming blankets are still commonly used in the medical community. Since the late 1980s, Bair Hugger has been a leader when it comes to disposable warming blankets used for medical purposes. Using the FAW technology, Bair Hugger warming blankets distribute warm air over patients to keep their bodies the right temperature before, during, and after a medical procedure. Without these blankets, patients will lose body heat and could go into hypothermia, which could lead to excessive blood loss. The blankets also come with drain holes that allow fluid to pass through the surface and down to the fabric underneath.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Bair Hugger warming blankets when they first hit the market back in 1987. They approved the product using the 510(k) premarket clearance program. This allows the FDA to approve certain products without actually testing them if the product is substantially similar to another product that’s already been approved.
What Causes a Bair Hugger Infection?
The FDA has received numerous complaints regarding Bair Hugger warming blankets, citing issues such as burning or excessive heat, or malfunctions that resulted in a lack of warm air and decreasing body temperatures. Other patients claim that Bair Hugger warming blankets have led to infection. While some of these infections can be mild, some can be severe. Some patients have experienced deep joint infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which may lead to an infection of the skin, sepsis, pneumonia, or an infection of the bloodstream. Patients that use Bair Hugger warming blankets during hip, joint or knee replacements face a greater risk of generating an infection.
Filing a Bair Hugger Lawsuit
Despite these complaints, no one in the medical community has been able to prove definitely that Bair Hair warming blankets cause infection. Some have argued that FAW technology heightens the risk of infection, but these studies have largely been disproved. 3M, the manufacturer of Bair Hair warming blankets, and the FDA maintain that these products are safe for all types of medical procedures. At the moment, over a thousand lawsuits against Bair Hugger warming devices have been filed in court. While none of these lawsuits have settled or gone to trail, the court is expected to make a ruling later in 2017. These lawsuits allege that 3M neglected to adequately warn the public about possible infections.