The recovery period following any surgery is when you are most vulnerable and important steps are needed to help facilitate healing and prevent infection. The Chicago Bair Hugger infection attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have represented countless clients who have been injured or experienced agonizing pain and complications following hip replacement procedures due to infections that have been linked to the Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Blanket. This device is meant to help you heal by delivering warmth to your hip and surgical site during your recovery, but defects in the device have resulted in the introduction of bacteria at a pivotal point of the healing process.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers understands the science involved in Bair Hugger infection cases and stands ready to see that you are fully compensated for your injuries. Our office is based in Chicago, and we are accepting cases from across the country. We invite you to contact our office for a free case review and for a litigation update regarding the status of Bair Hugger lawsuits.
How the Bair Hugger Blanket Works
Hip replacement surgery can be taxing on the body and in order to help reduce the recovery time following these procedures, Bair’s forced air warming devices are used to deliver heat to the body to increase blood flow to the areas that need to heal. Increased blood flow helps both by allowing the body to continue moving nutrients and other substances to the hip to facilitate recovery, but it also helps remove toxic materials and dead cells from the same location that slow the recovery process down. About 50,000 Bair Hugger blankets have been distributed throughout the United States and are used in the postoperative recovery of about 80% of hip and knee replacement surgeries.
What Went Wrong
In order to blow heated air onto the targeted areas of a patient’s body, the Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Blanket operates using a heater and blower in tandem to deliver air through a disposable blanket. Research found that the blankets have been exposing patients to bacteria and other microorganisms that are commonly found on the floor of operating floors and this is leading to infections that are difficult to treat due to their deep penetration into the body and serious nature. Operating rooms have air flow systems that are specifically designed to push cool air to the floor before pulling it away from the surgical field, but the Bair Hugger blankets disrupt this flow and actually pull the air off the ground that the normal system would remove and then deposit that air along with its contaminants back onto exposed areas of the patient’s body.
When compared with other warming blankets, studies showed that there were 2,000 times as many contaminated particles found at the surgical site when the Bair Hugger blanket was used. Our Chicago hip injury lawyers are currently reviewing claims for clients who suffered infections following their hip replacement surgeries and have found that many of the cases we’ve seen have involved the use of a Bair Hugger blanket.
Injuries Caused by Deep Tissue Infections
The infections that result from such open exposure of bacteria and other contaminants to the site of a surgical incision are usually of a much more serious nature than other infections that occur during postoperative recovery. Because the bacteria have had the opportunity to invade the body through an open wound at a time when blood flow is increased, the infections permeate into the tissue and joint where they can grow or spread to other areas of the body. The most common types of infections associated with the Bair Hugger include the following.
- MRSA— a highly drug resistant form of bacteria, called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
- Deep joint infection, which can cause tissue death throughout the hip joint. Patients often need to undergo another surgery to repair this damage. Surgical procedures can be high risk when performed so close together.
- Septic hip infection or knee infection. Sepsis is the clinical term for an infection that has reached the blood and these infections are very dangerous due to the ability of the bacteria to become mobile. Sepsis can result in the infection of critical organs such as the heart or lungs.
- Amputation of the leg at the point of infection. Sometimes the only way to prevent the further spread of an infection or to prevent septic shock is to remove the affected limb.
- Wrongful death of the patient due to infection.
Schedule a Free Case Review to Discuss Your Bair Hugger Infection Case With An Experienced Lawyer
If you have been injured due to the due of a Bair Hugger blanket during your hip replacement surgery, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers would like to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to for the cost of your medical bills, pain and suffering and other expenses. We are the leading medical device liability law firm in Illinois and have helped thousands of clients maximize their recoveries. Schedule a free consultation with us to learn about your legal options and how we can help you.
Our Chicago Bair Hugger infection attorneys will never require a fee upfront. If we are unable to secure damages on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.