Bair Hugger Settlement & Financial Compensation Information
Operating rooms are typically chilly, since surgeons prefer to work that way. However, they are usually too cold for many patients. Plus, anesthesia lowers body temperature during surgery. However, that chilly climate in operating rooms can cause heart problems and hypothermia in patients. Dr. Scott Augustine invented the Bair Hugger patient warming device to help rectify this problem. However, Dr. Augustine now says his product is dangerous and discourages its use in orthopedic surgeries. Bair Hugger is a forced-air warming blanket covering and circulating warmer air around patients’ bodies throughout surgery. Unfortunately, many hip and knee replacement surgery patients developed serious Bair Hugger infections. Those patients are now filing product liability claims and demanding a Bair Hugger settlement from the device’s manufacturers.
Bair Hugger Studies Highlight Operating Room Dangers
Although warming systems play an important role in operating rooms, recent studies highlight their potential dangers. One study published in The Bone & Joint Journal showed that forced-air warming can increase infection risks during orthopedic surgery. Researchers compared two warming technologies, forced-air (Bair Hugger) and conductive fabric. During simulated hip and lumbar spinal surgeries, the forced-air system generated currents that lifted air up from the floor and into surgical sites. (The fabric warming had no such effect.) Researchers discovered a significant increase in joint infections from using forced-air warming systems. According to the study’s conclusion, “air-free warming is recommended over forced-air warming for orthopaedic procedures.”
Lawsuits Now Pending May Still Win A Bair Hugger Settlement
Patients who developed Bair Hugger infections have recently filed lawsuits against 3M and Arizant, the device’s manufacturers. Although no plaintiff has yet won a Bair Hugger settlement, these injured patients share a positive outlook. Tommy Walton of Texas is in his 70s and had his first hip replacement surgery back in 2011. Walton developed an infection, needed 15 additional surgeries and now suffers permanent leg damage. He now seeks more than $1 million in damages. Timothy Johnson, who developed an infection during knee replacement surgery, filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Kansas. Johnson’s staph infection turned out to be MRSA, which is resistant to most antibiotics. After multiple revision surgeries, Johnson’s right leg was amputated.
Bair Hugger Settlement Compensation Outlook
Other patients who developed Bair Hugger infections are filing lawsuits against device manufacturers 3M and Arizant. However, no lawsuits have gone to trial yet or reached an out-of-court Bair Hugger settlement. One plaintiff requested lawsuit consolidation, identifying 14 Bair Hugger injury claims in six different courts. Consolidating similar lawsuits filed against the same company is called a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Centralizing claims under one MDL can reduce court costs and make legal proceedings more convenient for all parties.
Those plaintiffs allege that 3M and Arizant have a responsibility to test their products and ensure patient safety. Many claim the manufacturers didn’t conduct sufficient surveillance and additionally failed to adequately warn patients and health care workers about Bair Hugger risks. Other claimants say 3M and Arizant misrepresented their product, stating that Bair Huggers are safer than alternative patient warming devices. Lawyers also ask for punitive damages in a Bair Hugger settlement, hoping to discourage marketing these devices in the future.
See If You May Be Eligible for a Bair Hugger Settlement
If you or a loved one suffered severe infection after orthopedic surgery with Bair Hugger, you may qualify for compensation. Complete a free claim review to speak with an attorney and see if you may have an eligible case.
Check eligibility for compensation.
If you or a loved one developed severe infections after using the Bair Hugger forced warming air device during hip or knee replacement surgery, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. Request your free case evaluation now to see if you may qualify.