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The defective product litigation lawyers at Auger and Auger are currently accepting cases for victims injured by the Bair Hugger single use blanket. The blanket is manufactured by 3M Co., and multiple patients have already pursued claims against the company alleging that the blanket circulated contaminants and caused the patients to develop serious infections.
If you or your family member developed post-surgical complications after the use of the Bair Hugger warmer blanket, you need to understand your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim. Call Auger & Auger for a free consultation to see if our attorneys can help you with your case. (800) 559-5741.
North Carolina Surgical Blanket Lawyer
The Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket has been in use since 1987 and has been used in more than 200 million surgeries. Unfortunately, allegations have arisen that the hugger blanket spreads airborne contaminants when the single use blanket is used to warm up surgical patients.
The inventor of the surgical blanket, Dr. Scott Augestine, is expected to provide testimony supporting the claims that the blanket spreads infection. He will also provide documents related to the design of the warming blanket, which contains rows of inflatable tubes that fill with hot air.
The surgical warming blanket is supposed to provide better outcomes to patients by reducing the risk that anesthesia will cause hypothermia and by helping to prevent heat loss in the body’s core. However, the forced air heating technique can disrupt the carefully designed flow of sterile air which is necessary within the operating room setting.
The Risks of the Bair Hugger Single Use Blanket
The developer of the Bair Hugger single use blanket warns that the risk comes from the production of waste heat as the forced air heating device operates. The waste heat can build up underneath the table where the operation is taking place. Convection currents which form from the buildup of waste heat can stir up contaminants along the floor of the operating room.
The risk is greatest for patients undergoing joint surgery, who may develop debilitating infections deep within the joints when the blanket is used prior to their surgical procedure. The contaminants from the operating room floor may become embedded on the surface of hip and knee implants, which means the patients have bacteria-laden joint replacement parts implanted directly in their bodies.
The warnings of the device’s inventor are supported by a 2011 study from the Bone and Joint Journal in the United Kingdom. The journal published a paper demonstrating that research using mannequins demonstrated a significant increased risk of deep-joint infections when the single use Hugger blanket was used, compared with an alternative that used conductive heat rather than forced air. The infection rate was as high as 3.1 percent with forced air, compared to an infection rate of just .8 percent with an alternative warming blanket.
Getting Legal Help from a Defective Product Attorney
Deep joint infections can be painful, debilitating, and costly to treat. Patients need to consult with an experienced North Carolina defective product attorney to explore their options for recovering compensation when health problems arise. Auger & Auger Attorneys at Law provides free consultations and offers representation to injured patients with no legal fees charged unless we win. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help if you were harmed by the use of the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket.