The manufacturer of the blanket, 3M Co., vigorously defends its safety. It has been used during more than 200 million surgeries since 1987 and no studies can prove that it causes infections, according to 3M.
Critics of the device include its inventor, Dr. Scott Augustine, who now sells a competing patient-warming blanket called the HotDog. He says the Bair Hugger should not be used due to the risk of infection.
The problem is that “waste” air from the Bair Hugger rises against the carefully-controlled flow of sterile air in an operating room. In certain conditions, it could create convection currents that pick up bacteria off the floor.
Dr. Augustine told the Star-Tribune, “There is no question that it’s a true phenomenon. It’s happening. And it’s easy to show. … This product should never be on another orthopedic patient.”
According to a study published in 2011 by the Bone & Joint Journal:
“Forced-air warming established convection currents that mobilised resident air from non-sterile areas such as the floor and under the anaesthesia/surgery drape into the surgical site. This disruption in the ventilation of the surgical site was associated with significantly higher risks of joint sepsis for the forced-air versus the conductive fabric warming groups.”
Do I have a Bair Hugger Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Bair Hugger induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with an infection, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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