One would think that medical devices used during surgeries are safe to use. However, this is not the experience of many people injured by the 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blanket. The 3M Bair Hugger is a medical device that uses forced air warming during surgeries to maintain body temperature at a target level and prevent bleeding.
While the preventive goal has made this a popular medical device used by most U.S. hospitals today, there are times when the results have been complicated and even deadly. Some people have suffered third-degree burns, and others contracted infections in surgeries involving the implantation of devices such as heart valves and joints. Thousands of deaths have occurred all over the United States due to post-surgical complications known to be related to the 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blankets.
If you or someone you know suffered burns, an infection, MRSA, or sepsis after a surgery involving the use of a 3M Bair forced-air warming blanket, you should schedule a free and confidential consultation with the attorneys of Bennett and Heyman. Our phone number is (410) 727-2168.
Dangers of Forced Air Warming During Surgery
There is widespread disagreement about the safety of 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blankets. While the FDA has approved it and 85 percent of U.S. hospitals currently use it, some people don’t believe this is a safe device. One of the principal opponents of this product is its inventor, Dr. Scott D. Augustine. In 2010, the New York Times reported that Dr. Augustine said he was “proud to spread the word that there is a problem.”
Faulty or improper use is considered the main reason for most burn-related problems. The following injuries are frequently associated with the 3M Bair Hugger warming blankets:
There are reports that forced-air warming blankets cause life-threatening infections such as sepsis and MRSA. There are reports of patients receiving implants who needed revision surgeries and had severe post-operative complications associated with the adverse effects of the forced-air warming blanket.
There is no consensus as to whether the injuries are due to faulty use or faulty design of the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket. Moreover, there is disagreement about whether this technology causes or reduces the propensity for infections. There are scientific arguments on both sides. Some argue that the risk of infection always exists in surgeries. Some clinal studies say that there is risk reduction due to the body temperature management effect of this type of warming blanket. However, there is also scientific data showing how airborne contamination can travel throughout the operation area and into the surgical site, leaving patients with a nasty germ in the operated area. The convective airflow effect is considered the reason germs are trapped in the surgical site.
Depending on the type of surgery and infection you are suffering, an attorney can determine the causes of action you can pursue against the forced-air warming technology used in surgeries. Bennett and Heyman’s lawyers usually work with medical and engineering professionals experienced in the proper use of medical devices.
There are reports of traumatic skin injuries and even third-degree burns occurring as a result of incorrect use of the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket. Hospitals and manufacturers are supposed to provide training to medical professionals in the proper use of all medical devices they implement.
For example, there are reports of injuries occurring when the blanket is misplaced or omitted; there may be heat exiting the hose needed to force air through the system. Serious skin burns can occur when the hose is focused directly on the patient. There are reports of burns so severe that the thermal injury progressed to muscle necrosis leading to the amputation of the patient’s leg.
Deadline for Filing an Injury Lawsuit in Maryland
If you find yourself overwhelmed with medical complications due to an infection after a surgery in which a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket was used, but you are uncertain about the causes and the impact on your life, you shouldn’t wait to talk to an attorney.
There is a strict time limit in Maryland: you must file a lawsuit within three years from the time the injury is “discovered,” which means you only have three years from the time you learn of the harm to file a lawsuit. Our experienced team of attorneys will not charge for looking into your situation. With this type of negligence, lawyers typically get paid once financial recovery is secured. Depending on the circumstances, there are limited exceptions regarding when your attorney can argue that the case should advance in spite of filing after the deadline.
Maryland’s “Substantial Factor” Standard
In spite of aggressive marketing and promoting regarding the safety of forced air warming blankets, there are situations when the incorrect use or defective design of a medical device can play a central role in causing injuries. There is a wide variety of ways in which this can occur.
In Maryland, lawyers must show that a faulty medical device was a substantial factor in causing a tort or wrongful act that was responsible for your injuries. Experienced attorneys best handle these types of cases because the evidence can be complicated, and the expert testimony can involve convoluted concepts related to engineering, medicine, and science. Skilled attorneys understand this technical language and are usually able to synthesize and explain issues to a judge or a jury if necessary.
Call a Baltimore Lawyer for Injuries Caused by Forced Air Warming Blankets
The lawyers at Bennett and Heyman can take your case and help you get compensation for your injuries. They are known for their compassionate and caring approach to clients and their aggressive and proactive legal representation. With a history that goes back to 1870, the accomplished team at Bennet and Heyman will fight for your legal rights. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at (410) 727-2168.