Bair Hugger Forced-Air Warming Device Can Leave You With a Devastating Infection

David W. Hodges
David Hodges is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice on personal injury claims.

When your doctor tells you that you need a knee or hip replacement surgery, few people would anticipate that the risks associated with such a procedure may include developing a deep joint infection. This infection may be bad enough that you may need an amputation or multiple surgeries to repair the damage. Unfortunately, this risk is a reality whenever a surgical team uses the Bair Hugger forced-air warming device to regulate a patient’s body temperature during a procedure. Our firm was the first in the country to file cases related to the Bair Hugger device used during surgeries involving hip and knee replacements. We have been helping people who have suffered from infections following these surgeries since 2010. We are actively accepting new cases and referrals. If you developed an infection after surgery, we can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve for your suffering.

How Does the Bair Hugger Forced-Air Warming Device Cause Harm?

If your surgical team used a Bair Hugger device during your joint replacement surgery, you may have developed an infection as a result. The device can potentially harm patients in the following way:

  • The Bair Hugger device attempts to regulate a patient’s body temperature using forced warm air.
  • To do so, the device discharges air, which in addition to warming the patient’s body, also gets underneath the surgical table during a procedure.
  • This warm air then picks up germs that are on the surgical floor. As with most floors, the floors of an operating room are filled with bacteria.
  • The contaminated air is then re-circulated, ultimately landing on the surgical site.
  • This can result in an infection deep in the joint.

Unfortunately for patients, when bacteria lands on the hip or knee implant, it secretes a coating of biofilm to protect it from attack by antibodies and antibiotics. As a result, the infections are very difficult to treat. A single germ can cause a serious, deep infection that may require extensive treatment.

Potential Consequences of an Infection Caused by the Bair Hugger Device

For patients who are harmed by the Bair Hugger, the damage may be severe. Potential treatments that may be needed to address the deep joint infection include the following:

  • Amputation of a leg or other body part if the infection cannot be fully cured.
  • Multiple future surgeries to repair the damage caused by the infection.
  • Surgery to remove the artificial hip or knee that was supposed to help you.
  • Additional hip or knee replacement surgeries to correct the original issue.

In addition, patients may also experience significant financial losses as well as emotional and physical pain and suffering. The good news, however, is that many patients are now pursuing legal action against 3M, the manufacturer of this potentially dangerous device.

Partner David Hodges Speaks About Bair Hugger Lawsuits

Fox 26 in Houston interviewed David Hodges about the clients he is representing who are alleging that they were injured by the Bair Hugger patient warming device. Watch his interview here: 

Bair Hugger’s Maker May Be Liable for a Victim’s Losses After an Infection

In the pending lawsuits against 3M, victims harmed as a result of the use of Bair Hugger during surgery are alleging that the company is liable for their losses. The allegations against the company include the following:

  • 3M knew about the risks associated with the use of the Bair Hugger warming device during orthopedic surgeries.
  • 3M did not attempt to redesign the product to make it safer despite knowing about these risks.
  • 3M did not warn healthcare providers or patients of the risk of developing the deep infection during hip and knee replacement surgeries.
  • 3M attempted to conceal and discredit any scientific data that indicated potential risks associated with the system.

Similar allegations are being made against Arizant Healthcare, which is owned by 3M and manufacturers the device, as well as sales representatives working for the company.

What to Do If You Were Injured by a Bair Hugger Device

Despite the known risks, 3M continues to make and market the use of this device. If you contracted a deep joint infection as a result of a Bair Hugger device used during surgery, you may be wondering what to do next. It is important that you act quickly in order to protect your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses; however, the law imposes strict time limitations for filing a claim. Fortunately, we can help guide you through this process. We encourage you to contact us today to get started at 855-947-0707.