Warming Blanket Lawsuit Lawyer
Warming Blanket Lawsuits allege medical products’ makers knew of the increased risks of joint infections associated with warming blanket machines during hip and knee replacement surgeries, but nevertheless failed to redesign their devices to make them safer. Petitions also allege warming blanket makers failed to warn healthcare providers and patients of the infection risk. Warming blanket lawsuits also allege the makers tried to hide scientific data that showed warming blanket machines increase the risk of hip and knee infections following replacement surgery. Matthews & Associates is investigating warming blanket lawsuits. Contact us for a free legal consultation if you or someone you love suffered infection after surgery followed by a arming blanket wrap.
Forced Hot Air Surgical Warming Blanket
Warming blankets are meant to help maintain body temperature during surgery. Temperature maintenance has been shown to lessen bleeding, speed recovery times, give other benefits. Hence, forced-air warming systems, fluid warming systems, intravenous fluid warming, and warming blankets are often used during surgery to help maintain normal body temperature.
Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Lawsuits
Surgical warming blankets such as the popular Bair Hugger force warm air through a flexible hose onto a blanketed patient. While the device discharges warm air, it also releases air under the surgical table. This discharged air can disperse germs and bacteria, re-circulating them into the fresh wound of the surgical site. The re-circulation of contaminated air over an open surgical wound can cause infection in the hip or knee. Infection can result in sepsis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These infections are very difficult to treat deep when they take hold deep in a patient’s joint.
3M Bair Hugger Model 300
The Bair Hugger warming blanket sells for just over $100. The 3M Bair Hugger Model 300 full Body Warming blanket is advertised on a medical sales web site as a “forced-air warming blanket” that “provides coverage to the entire patient. Facilitates maximum thermal transfer with a blanket that hugs the patient. . . Soft, comfortable, lightweight, latex-free material.”
Side Effects, Problems, Risks of Surgical Warming Blankets
Deep joint infections in the hip and knee during replacement surgeries are among the most serious potential side effects, problems, or risks associated with surgical warming blankets. Treatments for these infections can include a combination of further surgeries and antibiotic therapy. Some cases may require amputation, joint fusion, or removal and a two-stage revision surgery. Patients who are poor candidates for further surgery are normally treated with long-term antibiotics.
Though bacterial infections are common throughout the human body, the immune system usually neutralizes them. Replacement systems, however, are often made of metal and/or plastic, which our immune system has trouble knowing how to attack. Bacteria forming at an implant can also create a film that can act like a biological shield which can be resistant to antibiotics. Consequently, patients with infected joint replacements often require surgery in order to cure the infection.
People at Higher Risk
Some implant patients are at a higher risk for developing infections from knee and hip replacement surgeries. Factors increasing infection risk include:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Immune deficiencies (such as HIV, lymphoma)
- Immunosuppressive treatments (such as chemotherapy or corticosteroids)
- Peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation to the hands and feet)
Signs or Symptoms of infected hip and knee replacement include:
- Fevers, chills and night sweats
- Increased pain or stiffness
- Warmth and redness around the wound
- Wound drainage