A medical device is a device used by doctors and other medical staff to improve a person’s health. One such device, called Bair Hugger, has recently been the subject of numerous lawsuits. Bair Hugger is a warming blanket developed by an American surgeon. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the product in the 1980s.
The purpose of the warming blanket, which is heated with forced air, is to keep patients warm during surgery. The forced air comes from a heater located close to the operating room floor.
The blanket is now used in approximately 90 percent of surgical procedures in America. The product has been associated with various health and safety risks and has been the subject of recent legal issues.
What is Wrong with Bair Hugger?
The main problem with Bair Hugger, according to plaintiffs who have filed a Bair Hugger lawsuit, is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), a type of bacteria. Plaintiffs allege that the warming blanket transfers MRSA from the floor to the surgical site.
This has led them to suffered additional damages such as pain and suffering and addition medical bills because they developed MRSA during surgery because of contact with the blanket.
In particular, patients were reporting various incidents of infections after surgeries where a Bair Hugger warming blanket was used. The infections were often located deep in the joints after hip or knee replacement surgeries. Other health concerns include:
- Skin disease or infection
- Infections of the bloodstream
- Sepsis (a response to infection; can be life-threatening)
Bair Hugger blanket infections may lead to:
- Additional medical procedures or surgeries
- Additional hospitalization time
- Amputation of limbs
- In some cases, fatalities
Is the Warming Blanket Considered a Defective Product?
Legal claims can often be brought if a product is defective or faulty. A defective product causes injury to an individual because of:
- Faulty warning
- Defective design
- Defective manufacturing
A defective product lawsuit involves showing:
- The warming blanket had a defect such as causing MRSA to enter a patient’s body during surgery
- The defect caused an injury while the warming blanket was being used as intended by the manufacturer
- The warming blanket had not been altered in terms of the way it should operate after it was sold
A defective product can often lead to compensatory damages, which will cover hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses
In some cases, the defendant (usually the product manufacturer) may attempt to raise a defense against the legal claims. Common defenses to a defective product lawsuit involve:
- Assumption of the risk
- Contributory negligence
- Substantial change defense
- Comparative fault
- Statute of limitations
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can also be held liable for injuries. For example, a doctor might be held liable for malpractice if they use a Bair Hugger blanket or other medical device that has already been deemed dangerous or that they know is defective.
Should I Contact an Attorney If I Was Injured by a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket?
To understand more about your rights to file a lawsuit or become a part of a class action lawsuit contact a local, personal injury attorney. An attorney can represent you in court and provide you with legal guidance for your case.