What are Bair Hugger Blankets?Since 1987, Bair Hugger systems have been used on more than 200 million patients. Approximately 80% of hospitals that offer forced-air warming therapy have these units installed – more than 50,000 Bair Hugger units among hospitals in the U.S. Bair Hugger blankets are forced-air warming systems designed to keep patients warm – specifically, before, during, and after surgical procedures. The system filters air into the operating room and forces warm air into a blanket (used to cover patients). These devices are designed to prevent patients from suffering hypothermia during the stages of surgery (orthopedic surgery).These devices ensure that patients keep and maintain a normal body temperature throughout the procedure and until the patient recovers (and is able to regulate body temperature regularly).
Bair Hugger ConcernsThroughout the 30 years that Bair Hugger blankets had been on the market, the FDA received a number of complaints relevant to the product. Specifically, there were complaints of the equipment malfunctioning (resulting in cold air circulating underneath the blanket); there were also complaints of burns resulting to prolonged heat during the surgical process. In 2017, complaints were reviewed. However, the FDA concluded that the Bair Hugger blankets were safe to continue using. The following year, in 2018, Bair Huggers were recalled due to the issue with inflation (as explained above). Neither of these issues addressed the alleged risk of infection associated with the Bair Hugger blankets. The man who invented Bair Huggers (and later sold his company and his product) claims that there is a dangerous risk of infection associated with Bair Hugger blankets. As of April 2019, there are more than 5,000 active federal lawsuits claiming that the Bair Hugger blankets contributed to serious infections resulting in the need for additional surgical procedures and even amputations. Specifically, in joint replacement surgery, the Bair Hugger equipment can increase the risk of bacteria landing on implants. Even minimal exposure to bacteria can result in a serious infection resulting in septic arthritis (which causes pain and swelling). These infections are so dangerous that they could result in the destruction of the joint (if not treated with antibiotics immediately). In most cases, the implant needs to removed and the infection must be addressed via surgery; as mentioned above, severe cases of infections can result in amputations. However, 3M claims that there is no increased risk of infection with the use of their Bair Hugger warming systems. 3M has responded with the results of more than 170 research studies and 60 clinical studies demonstrating the benefits, efficiency, and safety of the warming systems. Although 3M was quick to take action when their warming systems failed to inflate properly, they have been denying the increased risk of infection for many years.
Bair Hugger Blankets: Product Liability or Medical Malpractice?If you or a member of your family suffered harm as a result of a Bair Hugger blanket, you might have grounds to pursue a claim. Is this product liability or medical malpractice? This depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the harm that you suffered. Consider the following points:
- Medical professionals have the duty to use care, skill, and diligence to ensure the health of their patients.
- Medical professionals must ensure that the medical devices they use are working as they should to ensure that patients are not needlessly harmed (for example, they are responsible for monitoring body temperature and taking prompt action as soon as they notice irregularities).
- Medical professionals must stop using recalled medical devices immediately.
- Companies that design, manufacture, and sell products must ensure that their products are completely safe to be used as intended.
- Companies must thoroughly inspect their products to identify and address potential hazards that could result in innocent parties suffering ham.
- Companies must address any concerns that arise to ensure both the safety of their products and the safety of innocent parties.
Could You File a Claim?Do you have the right to pursue a claim if you or a member of your family suffered harm as a result of Bair Hugger blankets? Depending on the specific circumstances of the claim and the harm suffered, you might have grounds to take legal action. You might even have grounds to pursue a claim. You have the right to file a medical device product liability case against 3M for the harm that you or your family suffered as a direct result of the company’s negligence and their defective product. For more information about your right to pursue a claim against 3M for their defective Bair Hugger blankets, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible with the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group.
Could You Recover Compensation?Without a doubt, you have the right to file a claim if the harm that you suffered was a direct result of a defective product – a product that should have never been available to use. If you suffered harm because of a defective product, you might be entitled to receive compensation. Depending on the details of your claim, you could be compensated for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and punitive damages, for example. How much compensation could you be eligible to receive? The potential value of your claim is based on the details of your claim and the way in which you (and your family) were harmed. If you would like to learn more about the type and amount of compensation that you might be eligible to receive, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. When you allow the product liability lawyers at our law firm to handle your claim, you can trust that our experts will aggressively fight for your right to receive the highest amount of compensation available for your claim. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us today.
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