Bair Hugger® Lawsuits

Bair Hugger® Lawsuits

It has long been the practice of surgeons to keep patients warm during surgery, believing a “normothermic” patient may have reduced incidence of post-surgical bleeding, surgical site infection, and potentially a shorter recovery time. One method hospitals use to keep surgical patients “normothermic” is a forced air warming system. The Bair Hugger® in one such device. The Bair Hugger® is a disposable blanket connected to a heater/blower that keeps the body warm by blowing hot air on a patient’s exposed skin during a surgical procedure.

Some studies suggest the Bair Hugger® system may increase the risk of infections by blowing bacteria-contaminated air into open surgical wounds. The risk of infection is particularly serious for those undergoing hip and knee replacements or undergoing heart surgery requiring prosthetic implants.

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Did you experience one of the following symptoms after undergoing a hip or knee replacement:

  • Deep tissue infection
  • Swelling at surgical site
  • Multiple hospitalizations
  • IV antibiotic therapy
  • Additional surgery required to clear an infection
  • Removal and revision of the implant device
  • Amputation

At least one forensic epidemiologist has associated the sales of Bair Hugger® devices with a significant increase in the rate of deep tissue infections following total joint replacement surgeries. These deep infections often require multiple surgeries including debridement to replace the implant, wash out the joint, and administer antibiotics.

The Bair Hugger® device is manufactured and distributed by 3M, and is used in tens of thousands of hip and knee replacement surgeries every year. Most patients are unlikely to be aware whether or not the Bair Hugger® was used during their surgery. If you have had a hip or knee replacement surgery which resulted in infection in the last 5 years, it is possible your infection may be related to the Bair Hugger®.

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