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Shezad Malik MD JD
Shezad Malik MD JD
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California Bair Hugger Knee Implant Infection Lawsuit

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Recently, Manuel Griego, from California, filed a Bair Hugger warming blanket lawsuit, against 3M Company and it’s Arizant Healthcare subsidiary. Greigo, alleged that 3M knew for years about the increased infection risk from the forced-air warming blanket that are routinely used in artificial knee implant and hip replacement surgery.

bair hugger infection attorneyThe lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. According to Griego, a Bair Hugger warming blanket used during his knee replacement surgery that caused severe infection.

Griego alleges that the forced-air system used by the Bair Hugger caused bacteria and other contaminants to be blown into the sterile surgical site, resulting in a staphylococci infection.

Griego claims that the device interferes with the laminar air-flow used in the operating room to keep bacteria away from the open surgical wound.

Griego’s original implant had to be removed and replaced with an antibiotic spacer for three months. Griego then underwent additional surgery to have a new knee implant installed.

According to Griego, 3M and Arizant knew of the increased surgical infection risk with Bair Hugger warming blankets since at least 2009, but hid that information.

Bair Hugger Lawsuit Allegations

There is an increasing number of Bair Hugger personal injury and product liability cases being filed across the U.S. There are over 20 personal injury and product liability lawsuits pending against 3M and their Arizant Healthcare subsidiary.

The lawsuits all share similar claims that major design problems with the Bair Hugger warming blanket medical device that is employed during hip and knee replacement surgeries caused numerous patients to suffer severe, serious and deadly bacterial infections. Plaintiffs claim that they have suffered severe and catastrophic injuries from the Bair Hugger infections.

Many patients have developed serious methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterial infections, also known as sepsis, limb amputations and even in some instances have died.

How Does Bair Hugger Increase Bacterial Infection?

The Bair Hugger warming blanket medical device has been used in most operating rooms nationwide during orthopedic joint replacements. The blanket, supplies warm air to maintain core body temperature during surgery. The use of warming devices has been shown to reduce the risk of bleeding and improve post surgical outcomes.

But, according to many patients they developed severe and serious joint infections that could have been prevented if a different warming blanket design was used.

According to experts, the forced air system interferes with the laminar flow of the operating room, allowing bacteria and other contaminants from the floor to enter the surgical site.

Medical studies demonstrate that the use of forced air warming blankets causes significant increase in contaminant particles around a surgical wound and therefore leads to higher rates of knee or hip bacterial infections after joint replacement surgery.

Bair Hugger Used Widely Across U.S.

According to experts, there are more than 50,000 Bair Hugger warming blankets in use in U.S. hospitals.

Federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Pending

Recently, a motion was filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) requesting to consolidate and centralize all Bair Hugger lawsuits pending throughout the federal court system, in one national federal court. It is anticipated that the MDL litigation will be centralized in Minnesota, the corporate headquarters of 3M.