Maryland Man Claims Bair Hugger System Led to MRSA InfectionSep 28, 2016
A lawsuit was recently filed against 3M Company claiming that their Bair Hugger warming device was defectively designed and caused a Baltimore man severe and permanent damage. The plaintiff had knee replacement surgery in 2013 when the Bair Hugger device was used. During the surgery, contaminants were introduced into the open surgical wound which led directly to the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, claims the lawsuit.
The plaintiff was forced to suffer two additional surgeries less than eight months after his original knee replacement surgery because of the infection. These extra surgeries removed the knee implant and cleaned the infected area.
The plaintiff maintains he has continued to suffer long after the surgeries were over and still has difficulty walking and has limited mobility, according to his Bair Hugger lawsuit. The plaintiff alleges that the 3M Company, the developer and manufacturer of the Bair Hugger device, neglected to monitor their product's safety.
The 3M Company allegedly was aware of the Bair Hugger warming system's extremely dangerous risks, but opted to conceal those risks from the public as well as the medical community. There is a similarity in other lawsuits claiming that 3M had knowledge of their product's risk of pathogenic contamination since at least 2009, yet they continued to aggressively market their product as safe and effective to use during surgeries.
Although 3M Company claims the Bair Hugger's filtration system meets High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Standards, which require the filter remove 99.97 percent of particles larger than 0.3 microns, it has been revealed that the Bair Hugger can only remove less than 65 percent of these particles, according to the suit.
Over 50,000 Bair Hugger units are in use across the United States, putting thousands of people at risk of exposure to contaminants during surgery, the Bair Hugger lawsuit states. The Bair Hugger is used to keep patients warm during hip replacement or knee surgery by blowing hot air on exposed surgical sites. The air currents sweep up and deposit bacteria from the floor, blowing the contaminants directly into the surgical site, thus allowing for severe infections, potentially causing permanent damage, according to the claims in these legal actions.