A number of cases are being filed against the Bair Hugger forced-air blanket, alleging that the warming blanket can cause infections especially for patients who are undergoing hip and knee joint replacement surgery as well as heart surgery. Investigation for the rising number of lawsuits reveal that the manufacturer of the Bair Hugger warming blanket knew about the possible risks of joint infections during hip and knee replacement surgeries associated with the use of such product but failed to warn patients and healthcare providers. Instead of redesigning their product to make it safer, the manufacturer even attempted to discredit and hide the results of scientific research stating the side effects of their merchandise, placing their interest in profit first before the safety of the general public.
The Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket is specially designed to help regulate the body temperature of anesthetized patients who are undergoing surgery and prevent hypothermia. It is made of a layered blanket with holes in the bottom layer and thru a heating device warm air is being forced in between the layers of the blanket and exits out of the holes. It encourages faster wound healing by keeping the patient warm as well as maintain body temperature. Allegations state that instead of reducing the risk of infections, it can actually cause infections by blowing germs and bacteria-contaminated air into sterile surgical areas. Deep joint infections that are complicated to cure such as sepsis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA can spread to the patient’s hip or knee. Treatment for these infections include antibiotic therapy with a combination of surgeries while in severe cases a two-stage revision surgery, joint fusion or removal, and even amputation may be needed. The human immune system cannot control or fight off the bacteria causing infection in the body that make it to the implants since joint replacements consists of plastic and metal.
Forced-Air Warming can contribute to infections through these three ways:
– Internal Contamination– The build-up of internally generated airborne contamination into the operating room.
– Mobilizing Skin Organisms– The increased risk for prosthetic material infection with the prolonged exposure to the exhaust of the warming blanket.
– Convection Currents- The circulation of air from unsterile areas into and upward the surgical site.
Symptoms of an infected joint replacement may include:
– Chills, fevers and night sweats
– Increased pain or stiffness in a previously well-functioning joint
– Warmth and redness around the wound
The inventor of the Bair Hugger forced-air blanket, Dr. Scott Augustine has announced his concern regarding the dangers of the device to surgical patients but no recall of the warming blankets has been made up to now. If you or anyone you know has suffered a joint infection after knee or hip replacement surgery. Please Contact Us and provide any details along with contact information. If you prefer to leave a voicemail you can call 1.858.236.9020. GetClassActionMoney.com can then forward these requests to our network of attorneys that may contact you if a Class Action Lawsuit is to be pursued.
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