First brought to market in 1988, the Bair Hugger medical device allows surgeons to keep a patient’s body temperature stable, preventing hypothermia on the operating table. However, many in the medical community now believe that the Bair Hugger device is a defective product that increases the risk of infection, and evidence supporting this theory is beginning to grow.
If you or a loved one had an infection within one year of a knee or hip replacement, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against Bair Hugger’s manufacturers. For a free case evaluation, contact the South Carolina dangerous products attorneys of McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates at (888) 353-5513.
Increased Infection Rate in Joint Replacement Surgery
The Bair Hugger device wraps around exposed parts of the body, circulating warm air to keep the patient’s body temperature stable. For many surgeries, this allows the surgeons to focus on getting the procedure completed correctly without having to worry about the adverse effects of plunging body temperatures.
However, many orthopedic surgeons have discovered that the device has unexpected drawbacks. Several studies by respected medical journals found that patients who had knee replacement or hip replacement surgeries with the device experienced a significant increase in infection rates.
Surgical infection can lead to:
- Additional surgeries on joints to treat infection
- Antibiotic spacers placed in the joints
- Amputation of affected limbs
The current explanation is that the air circulated by the Bair Hugger device blows a larger-than-normal amount of bacteria into the air around the incision. Because joint replacement surgeries already carry some of the biggest risks for infection, they are adversely affected by the Bair Hugger devices at a much greater rate than other surgical procedures.
Bair Hugger Inventor Urges Hospitals to End Use, Manufacturer Sued
In 2010, anesthesiologist Dr. Scott Augustine, who invented the Bair Hugger medical device, began to publicly call for hospitals to stop using it, citing five peer-reviewed studies that showed a link between use of Bair Hugger devices and a risk of deep joint infection. Dr. Augustine continues to insist that the device, as currently designed, is unsafe for use, particularly in joint surgery.
Since 2010, the manufacturers of Bair Hugger have faced several lawsuits, including one from a Texas patient who required 15 additional surgeries to cure an infection after a hip replacement, and a man in Kansas whose post-surgical infections necessitated amputation of his leg.
Handling Bair Hugger Lawsuits in South Carolina
With our previous experience pursuing product liability lawsuits, the defective product attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates are ideally suited to handle your Bair Hugger legal case. We have access to medical experts capable of explaining how the device increases the chances for deep joint infection, and why the manufacturers should know this.
To set up a free initial case evaluation with McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, contact us by calling (888) 353-5513. We serve clients throughout South Carolina, with locations in Aiken, Columbia, Lexington, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, and Newberry.