Hip and knee replacement surgeries often go without complications. It has recently surfaced that serious infections occur more often when a device called a “forced-air warming blanket” is used, the most common forced-air warming blanket is the Bair Hugger (2012 Study).
The Bair Hugger Warming Blanket is used on patients under anesthesia undergoing hip and knee replacement surgeries. This blanket device keeps the patient’s body warm to protect from hypothermia. The medical community agrees that patients undergoing surgery do best post-operatively if their bodies are kept warm during surgical procedures.
The indicated study shows that infections happen more often when this type of device is used opposed to an alternative warming device, suggesting there may be an association between the surgical warming blanket and infection. Most patients probably won’t even know if they had this device used during their surgery.
Surgical Warming Blankets and Infections
The device is designed to suck in clean air and warm the air around and against the patient’s body. However, a heat exhaust is created and this sweeps down to the air below the operating table where unclean air likely exists. The exhaust picks up germs which then rise back up and above the operating table. These germs can enter the open wound directly or through the hands of the surgeon.
These germs can cause infection, very serious and severe infections. The germs can then settle on the artificial joint and cause a biofilm that protects the germs from antibodies that the body would typically produce. Then the germ can spread rapidly through the body, becoming a major health problem for the patient.
These infections can result in:
- Revision surgeries
- Debridement surgeries
- Long-term antibiotic use
- Expensive hospital stays
A study published in 2012 in the Bones & Joint Journal found a significant increase in deep joint infection when comparing forced air warming blankets, like the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket, compared to conductive fabric warming blankets. And while no study that concludes that Bair Hugger causes or increases the risk of infection, we are investigating matters where one suffered a deep joint infection following the use of a forced air warming blankets following surgery.*
Victims Have Filed Lawsuits in Two Other States
In Texas a man had to undergo fifteen surgeries to deal with the problems and infections caused after undergoing a surgery involving the Bair Hugger device. Eventually he had to have the implant removed.
In Kansas a man has alleged that he was infected by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after his joint replacement surgery. His infection was so severe that he had to have his leg amputated.
How to Know If You Should File a Lawsuit
Individuals who have undergone a knee or hip replacement and suffered an infection in the year following should speak with an experienced defective medical device attorney.
Most likely patients won’t know if their surgery involved the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket, and that’s perfectly fine. Our experienced team can help with medical records.
Fees are only required should a case resolve positively for the individual. In other words, our firm works with victims to assess whether or not they have a potential case, we lead you through the entire legal process, and then if you receive compensation, our firm is paid out of that.
Free legal consultations are available through this form or from our Defective Medical Device legal team at (888) LAW-8500. We have people standing by 24/7 to help answer your questions.
Is Time Of the Essence?
Most states have laws that limit the time that victims can file a claim for compensation. These laws are called “Statutes of Limitations”. If someone suffered an infection from the Bair Hugger may only have a limited time to file a lawsuit. If these deadlines are missed, the opportunity for compensation could be lost.
It is in victims’ best interests to speak with an experienced attorney. As time passes, individuals could compromise their rights. We recommend retaining an attorney quickly.
If you or a loved one suffered an infection following a hip or knee replacement surgery, contact our Defective Medical Device Department.
Call now: 800-550-0000
*Previous publication on this website misstated that studies have indicated that Bair Hugger Warming Blankets increases the rate of surgical site infection. In fact that was not the conclusion of the study referred to.