Lawsuits have been filed against 3M Health Care by hundreds of hip and knee replacement patients who developed serious infections. Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming blankets were cited as the possible cause of the infections.
It has been claimed the blowers stir up contaminated air from the operating room floor and deposit it into the surgical site, causing deep joint infections resulting in the need for additional surgeries, amputation and other complications, reports LawyersandSettlements.com. One plaintiff contracted a MRSA infection after her knee replacement surgery and had to undergo a number of revision surgeries. The Bair Hugger blanket was allegedly to blame and caused the patient to become disabled since her first knee replacement surgery 10 years ago. After the initial infection was discovered to be MRSA, the patient was pumped with antibiotics intravenously for approximately 8 weeks, according to LawyersandSettlements.com.
After a second and third knee replacement, there were still signs of infection. After only a few days at home, she fell and broke her hip. By then, she had seen doctors at the University of Virginia Hospital, Duke Hospital her surgeon in Utah. She was told that once there is osteo-myelitis, an infection of the bone, it never goes away. So much of the bone had been destroyed and so much soft tissue loss had occurred that there was nothing to attach a replacement to and no way to fasten the tendon to the bottom part of the knee cap, LawyersandSettlements.com reports.
“If I had the other knee replaced, I would end up with Osteo-Myelitis in that replacement as well because of infection travels. I guess that is what happens with the Bair Hugger – it transports infectious cells.” said the woman.