A lawsuit was filed against 3M Company by a Louisiana couple who alleged that the company’s Bair Hugger warming blanket used during the husband’s surgery in August 2009 caused a serious infection with subsequent complications.
The lawsuit alleges that the Bair Hugger caused a deep joint infection by bringing contaminants into the plaintiff’s open surgical wound. The infection required 3 separate surgeries between September 11, 2009 and June 15, 2010 to correct the issues caused by the plaintiff’s surgery.
Continued pain and other damages in the future due to the effects of the original infection and subsequent surgeries are claims in the Bair Hugger lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that as a direct result of the Bair Hugger warming blanket used during surgery, the plaintiff suffered an infection that led to significant medical expenses, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and physical damage.
The multiple counts filed on the Bair Hugger lawsuit include negligence, failure to warn, defective design, breach of express and implied warranties, fraudulent concealment and misrepresentation, loss of consortium, and violation of various Minnesota laws.
The 3M Company, according to the lawsuit, has had knowledge of their product’s risk of pathogenic contamination since at least 2009, but opted to conceal those risks from both the general public and the medical community. Despite this awareness, 3M allegedly continued to aggressively market the product as effective and safe to use during surgeries.
Over 50,000 Bair Hugger warming blanket devices are used across the United States, meaning that thousands of people could be exposed to serious risk linked to the device. The Bair Hugger device is meant to warm patients during surgery by blowing hot air, which unfortunately exposes patients to contaminants in the room as the surgical sites are exposed. When the air currents from the Bair Hugger sweep up contaminants from the floor, they blow them toward the surgical site which can lead to severe infections and cause permanent damage.