Bair Hugger Warming Blankets and Knee and Hip Infections
Hospitals in which knee and hip replacement surgeries occur often use a device called a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket during and after surgery to help maintain body heat and prevent hypothermia. The warming blankets are undergoing scientific scrutiny as studies show the blankets may be linked to a much higher rate of post-surgery infection in patients with knee and hip replacements.
Bair Hugger Blankets May Increase Infection Rate in Implant Surgery
The Bair Hugger forces hot air through a hose into a blanket that is draped over a patient’s body. Certain studies published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery indicate that forced air warming may actually be recirculating air contaminated with bacteria over and into the open surgical wounds. The risk of serious infection is especially high in knee and hip replacement surgery and heart surgery in which artificial valves are implanted. Bacteria in these plastic or metal implant devices is especially hard for the body’s immune system to fight. Infections in implants often spread rapidly and cause severe pain, swelling, fever, wound drainage and fatigue. The result may be deep joint infections that may require additional medical treatment such as:
- Implant revision surgery
- Joint fusion
- Long-term antibiotic therapy
Bair Hugger Litigation
There are a number of Bair Hugger Lawsuits in process across the United States. The Bair Hugger Warming Blankets are made by Arizant which was purchased by 3M in 2010. These lawsuits contend that Arizant/3M knew about the increased rates of joint infection when the Bair blankets were utilized, and the manufacturer failed to warn consumers and healthcare providers.The original inventor of the Bair Hugger Blankets, Dr. Scott Augustine, is now one of its biggest critics. He has publicly spoken of the increased rates of infection. Dr. Augustine is no longer with Arizant and has since developed a new warming blanket which does not use the forced air technique.
Bair Hugger Lawsuits in Kentucky
Brett Oppenheimer, a Kentucky attorney, is currently investigating lawsuits involving the Bair Hugger Warming Blankets. If you or someone you know has had hip or knee replacement or heart surgery involving artificial valve implants and have suffered injury due to a resulting deep joint infection, please consider calling Brett Oppenheimer for a free legal consultation. Please use the form on this website to contact Brett, or you can call (502) 242-8877.