The 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket has been used during surgeries for years. Created by Dr. Scott Augustine and approved by the US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987, the Bair Hugger is a medical device used to warm patients during orthopedic surgeries. It releases forced, warm air over a patient’s body, under the surgical table and in the room to help maintain a patient’s body temperature during surgery. While the purpose of the device is to circulate air and warm the patient, unfortunately evidence shows this is not the only thing the device is doing.

What are the risks and side effects of the Bair Hugger warming blanket?

While the air released through the device does do its job in warming the patient, it also can cause germs and bacteria to spread throughout the room and on a patient’s surgical site. As a result, patients are at greater risk for infections such as MRSA, sepsis, deep joint infection, amputation and other serious complications. The most serious side effects and risks occur when the surgical warming blankets are used during hip and knee replacement surgeries, where patients are especially susceptible to infection when bacteria is released into the air. These infections can cause serious health risks, and in the most severe cases, multiple surgeries, amputation, and even death.

What are the signs and symptoms of infections after a hip or knee replacement surgery?

Individuals who have had surgical intervention should watch for the following symptoms:

  • Increase in pain
  • Swelling
  • Fever, chills, night sweats
  • Warmth and redness around the wound
  • Wound drainage

If you are experiencing any of these side effects after the Bair Hugger device was used during your surgery, you should immediately contact your medical providers. A detailed review of completed studies on this topic can be found in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Lawsuits Arise

Lawsuits allege the manufacturer, Arizant Healthcare, a subsidiary of 3M, knew about the risks of infections but failed to properly warn patients and doctors. The Ruth Law Team is currently handling Bair Hugger cases. Click here for more information. If you or your loved one suspect you may have been injured as a result of a Bair Hugger warming blanket used during surgery, we urge you to speak with your doctor immediately. If you would like to speak to an attorney for more information regarding your legal rights, please call The Ruth Law Team, and one of our experienced products liability attorneys will be happy to speak with you for a free, no obligation consultation. The Ruth Law Team has been protecting consumers’ legal rights for over 30 years. Call us today at (888) 783-8378.