The attorneys at Kirtland & Packard have filed lawsuits against 3M, and Arizant Healthcare, a subsidiary of 3M, over its popular Bair Hugger forced-air patient warming device, on behalf of patients who developed serious infections after undergoing joint replacement surgery. The lawsuits cite recent studies to substantiate the claim that the Bair Hugger forced air warming system, which is used in operating rooms across the country, can increase patients’ risk of developing MRSA staph infection, sepsis and other serious infections. Lawsuits filed against the manufacturer of the device allege the company knew about the risk but failed to properly warn patients and doctors.
A number of lawsuits have been filed across the country alleging that the heat generated by the device can redirect air circulation during surgery. This change, according to the lawsuits, can cause bacteria and other contaminants from the operating room floor to become airborne. As a result, patients have a greater risk of developing MRSA or other hospital-acquired infections, according to the suits.
Many of the lawsuits are by patients who underwent hip or knee replacement surgery and were left with serious deep joint infections. In many cases, these infections required additional surgeries and painful recoveries such as the removal and replacement of the artificial joint.
One lawsuit alleges that a 70-year-old man from Texas developed a deep joint infection that required 15 additional operations following surgery using the Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming System. Another lawsuit claims that a patient developed a MRSA infection that resulted in a leg amputation after the device “kicked up” bacteria from the floor.
It is estimated that the Bair Hugger system is in 80% of U.S. hospitals and has been used more than 160 million times
If you or a loved one suffered a deep-joint infection following surgery, please call or email us today for a free consultation on your case.