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Have You Been Injured by the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket

Have you been injured by the Bair Hugger warming blanket? If you have, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury.

The Bair Hugger warming blanket, which is also called forced air warming blanket (FAW), was invented by Dr. Scott D. Augustine. He introduced the warming blanket in 1988.

The Bair Hugger warming blanket was a success. However, Dr. Augustine now claims that the blankets have an increased risk of spreading infection while surgery is being performed.

Problem


In speaking to the New York Times, Dr. Augustine said, “I am very proud of the old technology, but I am also proud to spread the word that there is a problem.”

Dr. Augustine sold the Bair Hugger warming blanket through his company Augustine Medical. The company later changed its name to Arizant. In 2002, Dr. Augustine resigned as chief executive and chairman of the board of Arizant. In 2010, 3M bought Arizant.

3M is an American multinational conglomerate corporation that is based in Maplewood, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. Originally, 3M was known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.

Response


3M is who now markets the Bair Hugger warming blanket. In responding to Dr. Augustine’s claims, 3M said, “We believe Mr. Augustine’s allegations against forced-air warming (FAW) stem from a personal vendetta and are baseless.”

However, Dr. Augustine cites several studies to support his claims. These studies were cited in his 2013 safety analysis, “Forced-Air Warming in Orthopedic Surgery: Benefit Or Danger?”

Warming blankets are used by doctors in millions of surgeries each year for the purpose of keeping the patient from getting hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition in which your body loses heat faster than it can make it.

Body temperature


Simply put, the Bair Hugger warming blanket helps maintain your body temperature during surgery. It has been established that maintaining your body temperature during surgery reduces bleeding, increases recovery time and has other benefits.

The Bair Hugger warming blanket functions like a forced-air heater. Warm air goes through a hose into a blanket over the patient.

The problem is that warm air is also released under the surgical table. This has the risk of causing bacteria and germs to land on the surgical site of a patient, which can result in an infection in the patient’s knee or hip. Infections like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) and sepsis may occur, which are extremely hard to treat when they take place deep within a patient’s joint.

There are some signs and symptoms to watch for that may be an indication of infection. These include:

Swelling
Fatigue
Redness and warmth around the wound
Increased stiffness or pain
Chills, night sweats or fevers.

In addition, there are certain risk factors that may increase your risk of getting an infection. These include:

Obesity
Diabetes
Peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation to your hands and feet)
Immune deficiencies (lymphoma, HIV).

Again, if you believe you have been injured in any way by the Bair Hugger warming blanket, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. The best thing to do is to contact a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.

Article written by James Shugart

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