There's a lot that can go wrong during major surgery, especially surgery that lasts for multiple hours. One of the biggest issues, and one that doctors have had to address since the dawn of surgery, is the patient's temperature.
While under anesthesia, a patient can see his or her core body temperature drop in ways that are both dramatic and dangerous. Keeping a patient as warm as possible during a surgical procedure is absolutely crucial.
Predictably, many companies have jumped in with attempts to solve this problem and earn big profits in the process. But in the case of the 3M Bair Hugger, we also see the dangers of a defective medical device.
If you or a family member suffered an infection or other health issue as a result of the use of the 3M Bair Hugger during surgery in the Atlanta, Georgia area, please call Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC today at 404-760-7400 for a free consultation.
What is the Bair Hugger?
There are a number of tactics medical professionals can use to keep a patient warm during surgery. The manufacturing giant 3M came up with their own: what's essentially a warming blanket.
The Bair Hugger is a single-use forced-air disposable blanket that is wrapped around a patient's extremities before surgery. The blanket has a number of hollow tubes, which are then filled with warm air pumped in from a separate unit using a hose.
The blankets are relatively cheap (starting at $6) and quite popular, having been used in more than 300 million surgeries since the late 80's.
What's the Problem?
An operating room has to be an extraordinarily clean, sterile place. When under surgery, a patient is exceptionally vulnerable to infection. So everything in the OR must be free of germs before a procedure. And that includes the very air in the room.
According to reports, the Bair Hugger disrupts the sterility of the OR by pushing contaminants on the floor and under the operating table up into the air around the patient. This is a result of the convection currents generated by the product's warming unit.
Studies have found that the use of the Bair Hugger can dramatically increase the risk of deep bone infection in patients. Lawsuits against 3M are currently underway.
Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC is ready and willing to listen to your story and help you decide if legal action is the right choice for you.
If you have questions about possible litigation related to the 3M Bair Hugger, please call Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC today at 404-760-7400 for a free consultation. Our firm is located in Atlanta, Georgia.