A new Bair Hugger lawsuit has been brought against 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, by an Illinois man who alleges that the patient warming device used during his leg fracture repair caused him to suffer a deep joint infection requiring two-stage revision surgery. The product liability lawsuit was filed by Larry Young in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on January 27, and names as defendants 3M Company and its Arizant Healthcare subsidiary, the current distributors of the Bair Hugger blanket. If you or a loved one underwent surgery where the Bair Hugger blanket was used, and you have since suffered a devastating deep joint infection, consult a reputable Bair Hugger injury lawyer for legal help.
According to his claim, Larry Young underwent surgery to repair a leg fracture in June 2013, and the procedure, called an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF), involved realigning a fractured leg bone using steel rods. During surgery, the Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket was used to help control Young’s temperature, and the product liability lawsuit alleges that problems with the design of the medical device allowed contaminants to enter the sterile surgical site, causing a serious periprosthetic infection. As a result of his deep joint infection, Young indicates that he experienced severe, chronic pain, and required multiple surgeries to treat the infection and remove the devices used in the leg fracture repair surgery.
Unfortunately, because the medical team that performed Young’s surgery was unaware of the link between forced-air warming and deep joint infections, the Bair Hugger blanket was also used during the first stage of Young’s revision surgery in November 2013. “The Defendants concealed and continue to conceal their knowledge of the Bair Hugger’s unreasonably dangerous risks from Plaintiff, other consumers, and the medical community,” Young’s lawsuit states. “The Defendants failed to conduct adequate and sufficient post-marketing surveillance after they began marketing, advertising, distributing and selling the Bair Hugger.”
Similar allegations have been raised in Bair Hugger lawsuits filed in courts across the country, on behalf of consumers who underwent orthopedic surgery for knee or hip replacement systems where the patient warming blanket was used, and subsequently suffered deep joint infections, MRSA, sepsis or other potentially life-threatening injuries. The product liability complaints allege that the design of the Bair Hugger forced-air warming system allows bacteria from the operating room floor to be blown into the surgical wound, increasing the patient’s risk of infection possibly requiring revision surgery.
Although several studies published in recent years have questioned the safety of the Bair Hugger blanket, plaintiffs allege that 3M and Arizant continue to defend the safety of the warming system, providing false and misleading information to medical professionals. “Rather than alter the design of their product or warn physicians of the dangers associated with the Bair Hugger, as numerous studies confirm, the Defendants have chosen to ‘double down’ on their efforts to promote their defective product,” Young states in his Bair Hugger complaint. Even the original creator of the Bair Hugger blanket, Dr. Scott Augustine, has gone public with concerns about the safety of the patient warming device, yet 3M and Arizant call his efforts to warn the public “baseless,” and claim that they “stem from a personal vendetta.”
There are currently about 100 deep joint infection lawsuits pending in the Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen in the District of Minnesota, and additional complaints are expected to be filed as lawyers continue to review and file claims for individuals who have suffered deep joint infections and other side effects allegedly caused by the Bair Hugger blanket. If you believe you have been harmed by Bair Hugger side effects like a deep joint infection, sepsis or MRSA, contact a knowledgeable product liability lawyer today to discuss your possible compensation options.
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