3M Bair Hugger Lawsuit Center
The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating 3M Bair Hugger lawsuits on behalf of individuals who allegedly developed serious infections, including MRSA or sepsis, following hip or knee replacement surgery that involved the use of one of these forced air warmer systems. Several product liability claims involving this device are already pending in U.S. courts, all of which allege that joint implant patients treated with the Bair Hugger were exposed to dangerously contaminated air from operating room floors. If you or a loved one were harmed in this manner, filing a forced air warmer lawsuit against 3M may enable you to obtain financial compensation for all of your injury-related damages, including:
- Payment for medical bills, including those stemming from hospitalizations, doctors fees, additional surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, etc.
- Loss of past and future wages
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Our attorneys are currently offering free, no-obligation legal reviews to individuals who may have suffered a hip or knee replacement infection due to the 3M Bair Hugger. If you call our office today, our legal staff can help you determine if you have a valid claim for compensation, and will take the time to explain the complex process for filing a 3 M Bair Hugger lawsuit. Please don’t hesitate! Simply call 212-779-1414 to learn more about your legal rights.
The 3M Bair Hugger: What’s The Problem?
The 3M Bair Hugger is a forced air warming blanket that is used to maintain normothermia – normal body temperature – during surgical procedures. According to 3M, the Bair Hugger system is the standard in hospitals around the world, and has been used on more than 165 million patients. More than 80% of U.S. hospitals now utilize the system.
The 3M Bair Hugger system consists of a portable heater/blower connected by a flexible hose to a disposable blanket that blows hot air on a patient’s exposed skin. A significant body of research has shown that keeping a patient warm during hip or knee replacement surgery can lead to less bleeding, faster recovery time, and other benefits. In addition to forced air warmer blankets like the Bair Hugger, other devices used to achieve normothermia include fluid warming systems, intravenous fluid warming, and warming blankets and pads.
The 3M Bair Hugger has been the subject of controversy since 2010, when its inventor, Dr. Scott D. Augustine, asserted in a New York Times interview that the forced air warming system poses an infection risk when used during procedures that involve implantable devices, such as hip and knee replacements. In 2012, a scientific paper published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reported increased particulate counts with forced warming compared to radiant warming. “The convection currents increased the particle concentration 1000-fold (2 174 000 particles/m3 for forced-air warming vs 1000 particles/m3 for radiant warming and 2000 particles/m3 for the control) by drawing potentially contaminated particles from below the operating table into the surgical site,” the study noted.
Several 3M Bair Hugger lawsuits are now making their way through U.S. courts. These cases include a knee replacement infection lawsuit that was filed in Kansas in 2013, and alleges that contaminated air kicked up by the Bair Hugger caused a MRSA infection that led to a patient’s leg amputation. A hip replacement infection lawsuit was filed that same year in Texas on behalf of an elderly man who underwent 15 additional surgeries after he allegedly developed a deep joint infection due to the Bair Hugger.
Both of these forced air warmer lawsuits claim that the Bair Hugger allows air to accumulate under the surgical drape, which then escapes below the level of the surgical table. The complaints further allege that the escaped air creates warm, rising, airflow currents that deposit bacteria from the operating room floor to the surgical site. Treatment to bring the resulting infections under control may include:
- Repeated hospitalizations
- Multiple surgeries
- Insertion of antibiotic spacers in the infected joint
- IV antibiotic therapy
- Physical therapy
- Removal and revision of the implant device
- Amputation of the affected limb
Finally, the lawsuits claim that 3M knew about this risk for years, but has not issued warnings or taken any steps to redesign the device. Instead, plaintiffs claim that the company has “taken every step to conceal and discredit any scientific studies which might undermine their sales.”
Legal Help for Alleged Victims of 3M Bair Hugger Infections
Patients who were diagnosed with MRSA, sepsis, or a deep joint infection following joint replacement surgery that involved the use of a Bair Hugger may be entitled to seek compensation from 3M. If you would like to learn more about filing a 3M Bair Hugger lawsuit, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today. Free legal reviews can be obtained by calling 212-779-1414.
Proton Pump Inhibitors & Chronic Kidney Disease
Our attorneys are also investigating proton pump inhibitor lawsuits involving kidney problems possibly linked to the use of Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. Several studies suggest that long-term proton pump inhibitor use may damage the kidneys, including one that linked these drugs to a 96% increased risk of kidney failure and a 26% increased risk of chronic kidney disease. Bernstein Liebhard LLP recently launched the Nexium Lawsuit Center, and our Firm is now offering free, no-obligation legal reviews to anyone who was diagnosed with serious kidney complications, including kidney disease, renal failure or acute interstitial nephritis, following treatment with Nexium or another proton pump inhibitor. Please visit the site to arrange for your case review today.