The Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming system, invented by Dr. Scott D. Augustine and manufactured by 3M Infection Prevention Solutions, keeps patients warm in cold operating rooms. However, more than 1,000 people have filed lawsuits against 3M alleging the device caused them to develop MRSA, sepsis, or other serious infections.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious infection, required additional surgeries because of MRSA, or lost a limb due to an infection after surgery utilizing a Bair Hugger device, you may be able to file a claim for compensation for your damages. Get help from a Bair Hugger infection lawsuit class action lawyer. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your complimentary case review.
What Risks Are Associated with the Bair Hugger Device?
The Bair Hugger is a plastic blanket designed to pull in warm air and force it out over the patient’s body, warming them. Operating rooms are notoriously cold, and a patient’s temperature may naturally drop while under anesthesia, as well. This makes this type of warming blanket a desirable device in many surgical suites.
However, the lawsuits filed against 3M Infection Prevention Solutions claim this type of forced-air system increases the risk of serious infections by pulling in bacteria-laden air and pushing it directly onto the patient.
These patients suffered from MRSA, sepsis, and other systemic infections. Many required multiple surgeries to clean out the infection, remove infected implants, and even amputate limbs to prevent spread of the infection. Many of the infections linked to the Bair Hugger are easily treatable with antibiotics, but others are resistant and leave patients with permanent impairments.
Even when the patient eventually recovers, this type of complication requires additional hospitalization, expensive prescription medications, and more therapy and rehabilitation. They owe thousands of dollars for their ordeal, and may still need ongoing care.
If you suffered a serious infection after surgery and believe the Bair Hugger may have contributed to your complications, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Call us today to discuss filing a claim against 3M Infection Prevention Solutions.
What Do Studies Say About the Bair Hugger?
In 2013, a study in The Bone and Joint Journal found a notable increase in bacteria if a patient’s surgeon used a Bair Hugger device during surgery. In fact, the results of the study found there were 2,000 times more contaminants in the room when the surgeon used a Bair Hugger. This was enough to make many people question the use of these devices, and even the device’s inventor urged doctors to stop using it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on the other hand, continues to support the use of the Bair Hugger device. In August 2017, it issued a statement saying its review of incident reports, studies, and other evidence did not lead it to believe the device was inherently dangerous. Its statement recommended that hospitals and patients continue to use these devices when the situation calls for it.
What Is the Current Status of Bair Hugger Lawsuits?
As of August 2017, there are over a thousand lawsuits pending in federal court against 3M Infection Prevention Solutions related to complications caused by the Bair Hugger device.
They are currently in the pre-trial stages of multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDL consolidates the discovery and pre-trial process saving a lot of money for the individuals who filed a claim. Once discovery (i.e., the period during which both sides gather evidence) concludes, the lawsuits will move forward with a bellwether trial to test the evidence against 3M and the strength of the argument for compensation. Based on the outcome of this case, 3M may decide to settle with other victims.
There are a number of allegations against 3M in these lawsuits. This includes:
Failure to Test the Bair Hugger
Medical device manufacturers must rigorously test their products, both before they hit the market and after complaints come in about complications caused by their products. Some victims allege 3M failed to adequately test the devices.
Failure to Warn Patients of the Risks Associated
Some victims who filed lawsuits also claim 3M failed to warn them about the risks associated with the medical devices. Device manufacturers must inform doctors and their patients of any risks associated with using their devices.
Victims also allege that 3M continued to deny any increased risk of infection, which victims view as misrepresentation.
What Do I Need to Do If I Was a Victim of a Bair Hugger Infection?
If you or a family member suffered an infection after surgery that used a Bair Hugger device, we may be able to file a claim for you based on the financial, physical, and emotional damages you suffered. If you required additional surgeries, lost a limb, or suffered other permanent disabilities, we can help recover compensation to cover the full amount of your medical bills and ongoing care costs, as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Contacting a Bair Hugger infection lawsuit class action lawyer from Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. as soon as possible can help you collect the compensation you deserve.
While more than 1,000 people have already filed claims against 3M, there are likely many more victims out there who suffered serious infections after using these devices. In addition, because the Bair Hugger is still in use in many hospitals and surgical centers, more patients may continue to suffer an increased risk of infection during hip and knee implant procedures and other surgeries.
If you believe you may qualify to join the thousands filing suits against 3M because of the Bair Hugger device, call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your complimentary case review.