During an orthopedic surgery, such as a knee replacement surgery, a hospital will often use a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket to keep patients warm. While keeping a patient’s body temperature up during surgery is critical—most patients go into a hypothermic state during surgery otherwise—the use of the Bair Huggers has been linked with the spread of bacteria, leading to infection.
Bair Hugger Warming Blankets and Infection
The Bair Hugger Warming Blanket uses forced air-warming technology to reduce the risk of a body cooling due to anesthesia. While the blankets are disposable and designed to be used for a single patient, they are not designed to enter sterile fields. As such, they pose a higher risk of contaminating surgical sites. The reason for increased risk of infection could be due, in part, to the fact that the blankets disrupt ventilation airflow, and increase the number of particles (including airborne bacteria) near the surgical site. When a patient contracts an infection at a surgical site, the repercussions can be severe. It is particularly difficult for the body to fight off an infection on implants.
The Risks of Infection
If a patient does contract an infection at a surgical implant site, he or she may suffer from pain, fever, and require a revision surgery. In the most severe of cases, an infection can even lead to a permanent disability, the necessity of amputation, or death.
How a Defective Medical Device Attorney Can Help You
The makers of the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket, 3M and Arizant, may have known of the increased risk of infection associated with the use of their product, yet failed to warn doctors and patients. As such, these manufacturers may have acted negligently, and are therefore liable for subsequent harm incurred by a patient.
If you believe that you would not have developed a surgical site infection but for the use of a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket during your joint replacement surgery, you need a pharmaceutical litigation attorney. At Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC, our legal team is ready to fight hard to get you the compensation that you deserve. Call us to discuss your claim in person today.