There are serious issues that could influence when going through a replacement surgery for your knee, hip, or other joint. In recent years, increasing numbers of patients who interacted with Bair- Hugger warming blankets during surgery for replacement are reporting infections post-surgery. Read on to learn more about some of the most important facts associated with Bair-Hugger products at this point in time.
Who is Impacted?
Individuals who have undergone joint, knee, or hip surgery and have had to be hospitalized as a result of an infection may qualify to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Early reports indicate that the Bair-Hugger forced air warming system can increase a patient’s risk of developing sepsis, MRSA or other serious infections.
Lawsuits already filed against the manufacturer argue that the company knew about the risks associated with the product but failed to properly warn patients and doctors about them. Since MRSA and some more infections are resistant to antibiotics, patients may have faced serious complications as a result of using this product. The Goldwater Law Firm understands the severity of these cases and is in the best position to help you if you or someone you know has been impacted by this kind of lawsuit.
About The Device
Bair-Hugger is the manufacturer of a surgical warming blanket used frequently during replacement surgery. The purpose of the blanket to help a patient’s body temperature stay the same over the course of surgery. This has been known to speed up recovery time, reduce the impacts of bleeding, and provide additional benefits. This is why forced air warming systems, like that produced by Bair- Hugger, have become increasingly popular for use in surgical situations.
These work like a forced air heater moving warm air through a flexible hose into a blanket that is draped over the patient. In order to work properly, the device discharges the warm air over the course of the patient’s body and additionally releases air under the surgical table. The air discharged under the table unfortunately, can cause bacteria and germs to be dispersed and recirculated throughout the operating room ultimately landing on a patient’s surgical site. This can generate serious infections like MRSA. The procedure of recirculating what could be contaminated air over an open surgical wound could be severe or deadly for a patient.
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The most serious side effects associated with this situation are known as deep joint infections especially in the hip and knee during a replacement surgery. Treatments for these infections may include surgical procedures or antibiotic therapy. In the most severe of cases joint fusion, amputation or removal and two-stage revision surgeries could be necessary. Individuals who are not candidates for second surgeries are typically treated with a long-term antibiotic suppression. Some patients are at higher risk for developing infections after hip and knee replacement surgeries.
Factors that could increase your risk for infection include immune deficiencies, a diagnosis of diabetes, immunosuppressive treatments, obesity, and peripheral vascular disease. In order to determine whether you have been impacted by an infection after using the Bair-Hugger warming blanket, you might be experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
- Fatigue Swelling
- Increased pain or stiffness
- Fever, chills, night sweats
- Wound drainage
- Warmth and redness around the wound
If you or someone you know has been injured after undergoing hip, knee or other joint replacement surgery because of a warming blanket, you may be entitled to compensation under personal injury law. You need to act sooner rather than later because the statute of limitations only allows you to file a claim in a timely manner. Speak with the experienced attorneys at the Goldwater Law Firm to determine whether you have a claim and what your next steps are.
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