During a prolonged surgery, a special medical device is used to cover the patient with the purpose of delivering a consistent level of heat to the body. This type of device is commonly known as the Bair Hugger™ surgical warming blanket manufactured by 3M and Arizant Inc., its subsidiary.
Maintaining a consistent body temperature during surgery is essential, which is why a doctor created the device about 30 years ago. The device works to keep the patient at a steady 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and has become extremely popular in operating rooms across the country. Due to this popularity, it has been utilized in approximately 90% of all major surgeries, in addition to treating hypothermia and exposure in emergency rooms.
The Bair Hugger’s function is to maintain a safe environment during surgery for the patient as well as to promote better healing and keep bleeding to a minimum. However, the Bair Hugger has been known to come with certain dangers.
Bair Hugger Infections
Advanced tools like the Laminar Air Flow System Traditional are used in surgical operating rooms to circulate clean, filtered air throughout the facility. Their purpose is to keep contaminants and airborne particles from finding their way into an open incision and causing an infection.
Recent research has shown the Bair Hugger’s forcing of warm air around the patient can interfere with these cleaning systems and force contaminants up from the floor and into the open surgical site of the patient. These dirty particles can lead to serious infections leave the patient in a worse state than before the surgery.
The contaminants from the floor can spread and lead to an infection, especially in patients who have had a surgery involving an artificial heart valve or joint repair. The issue has become so severe, the inventor of the Bair Hugger stated he wants other healthcare providers to stop using the blanket during certain surgeries and admitted the blanket can pose a danger to patients.
Bair Hugger Lawsuits
Lawsuits allege the makers of the blanket knew of the infection risks, yet failed to properly warn the public. The NIH has said “the Bair Hugger forced-air patient warming system during prolonged abdominal vascular surgery may lead to increased bacterial contamination of the surgical field by mobilization of the patient’s skin flora.”
Bair Hugger Lawyers: Dax F. Garza, P.C.
If you or someone you know had a surgery using a Bair Hugger and suffered an infection or other complication as a result, contact Dax F. Garza, P.C. to discuss your case at no charge.