Severe MRSA infection: Bair Hugger lawsuit in Minnesota

The often used Bair Hugger (medical warming blanket) has caused severe injuries resulting from a MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) infection, thus leading to Bair Hugger infection lawsuits.

In one such case, a man who underwent a hip implant surgery in August 2012 got serious deep joint infection following the surgery. This was due to a Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket used during surgery to keep the body temperature at an optimal level by keeping circulation better with less bleeding in the patient. The device allowed pathogens to enter into his surgical wound, which resulted into a serious infection, due to which he had to undergo six surgical procedures in less than 11 months. Plaintiff suffered and continues to suffer a lot of pain and inconvenience that has been described as substantial, permanent physical impairment, including a lost capacity to move freely. Schackmann v. 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, Inc, Case number 0:15-cv-03142-JNE-JSM.

The lawsuit brought before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota alleged concealment of the fact that the Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket could introduce contaminants into surgical sites, resulting in serious post-operative infections. The concealment has also been in terms of consumers and the medical community. 3M and Arizant also failed to conduct adequate and sufficient post-marketing surveillance of the device. The suit alleged that the 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket was defective and that Arizant Inc. acting negligently ignored the potential infection caused by its use.

Upon this concern, Dr. Scott Augustine, co-developer of Bair Hugger emphasized on a newly-developed device that warms a patient’s body much like an electric blanket, without the need for forced air. Despite this, a vast majority of surgical procedures using the Bair Hugger could possibly bring about more of such infection lawsuits.

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