Hospitals have used Bair Huggers on more than 180 million people since it was introduced in 1988. More than 80% of hospitals use the product today. The blanket is used to treat hypothermia in people during surgery. However, there have been claims that the blanket has an increased infection risk over other methods of warming patients. Any deep joint infection can result in revision surgery, hospitalization, amputation, and even death.
Nova Legal Funding now offers pre-settlement cash loans for your Bair Hugger warming blanket case. If you have an active Bair Hugger case and you have hired a lawyer, we can help. To get started give us a call at (800) 760-0704 or apply online.
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Adverse Effects Of Bair Hugger Warming Blankets
In orthopedic surgery, you want to have as clean a work area as possible. This is why warming blankets were even created. The Bair Hugger blankets are supposed to keep the work area around the wound clean and warm. The problem is that the warm air from the blanket causes the air to rise (like heat does). That can pull up germs and bacteria from the surgery room floor, which can cause a deep joint infection.
Deep joint infections are the main worry for Bair Blankets. They can cause many other adverse side effects, such as:
- Implant revision surgery
- Permanent disability
Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Lawsuit: Status of Litigation, Recent Verdicts & Settlements in 2016
The Bair Hugger blanket was invented by Dr. Scott Augustine in the late 80s and manufactured by a company called Arizant. The FDA cleared the first Bair Hugger blanket in 1987 under the 510(k) program. This program allowed devices to be cleared without clinical trial. The FDA has not issued a recall of the device, but there have been many negative reports to the FDA.
In the following decades it became the #1 blanket used by hospitals. In 2010, Arizant was acquired by the company 3M. At that time, Dr. Augustine began to realize that his blanket was putting orthopedic patients at a greater risk for infection. He made this known before Arizant sold the product to 3M.
In 2011, a research paper was published by The Bone & Joint Journal further showing the added risk of the blankets. There had been studies done before this showing the blankets’ safety, but Dr. Augustine had newer studies that showed the opposite. Cases came forth such as Tommy Walton in 2011 who had to have 15 surgeries to repair the infection. Another patient, Rosie Bartel, is wheelchair-bound because of the infection. One man had to have his leg amputated.
More research was done into this in 2014 that showed a potential problem with the blankets. Dozens of lawsuits were filed over the past few
years. In 2015 the MDL Judicial Panel issued a transfer order to consolidate all the existing suits into one venue. There are currently more than 800 actions filed in the US District Court in MN against 3M for these blankets.
What is unusual here is that Dr. Augustine himself is expected to testify in court that the product is dangerous. He’s gone on record as saying that “this product should never be on another orthopedic patient.”
Your attorney may have told you that these cases are very early on. There has also been no other case against a company for a hospital-approved warming blanket quite like this. What’s more 3M is working hard to defend the claims. They haven’t moved to settle yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t.
When it does come time to settle, there will be a few factors that will determine how much a client will receive. These factors include how bad the injury was, what treatment has been done, and how much the medical expenses are. They will also take into account any lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
Attorneys for the injured clients are hoping that 3M follows in the footsteps of Merck. Lawyers there used indirect evidence of relative risks of the Vioxx drug and Merck ended up paying almost $5 billion to settle the cases.
That’s also a little tricky to pin down. At the start of 2016, there 100+ lawsuits filed against 3M. Now there are more than 800 actions filed with possibly many more to come. One of the strengths of the claims is that they have the inventor of the product on their side. He claims the products are dangerous. That alone might help spur the cases to a quick end. On the other hand, some MDL cases can stretch out for years while the attorneys try to gather the evidence against the manufacturer. That’s why Nova Legal Funding exists – to help you out while you battle the big insurance companies.
Dealing with a company as large as 3M can be a very expensive and long process. 3M is a multimillion dollar company that invests heavily in research and development. In 2010, 3M paid about $800 million to buy Arizant. The company’s yearly net revenues exceed the GDP of many small countries. Your bills don’t stop while you wait for your settlement money, though. Nova Legal Funding can help. After a brief chat about your case, we will do all the work to get you a loan. You can use the money you get from Nova Legal Funding to pay your home bills, your rent, or even help pay your medical bills.
To qualify you must have a Bair Hugger case and a lawyer. Nova Legal Funding will work with your lawyer to get documents about your case. We’ll look at the injuries you and we’ll see if your case is filed in the MDL. This will determine how much money you can get from Nova Legal Funding to help you now.
You’ve suffered enough from the effects of using a Bair Hugger blanket and the hassle of having to file a lawsuit. Maybe you’ve lost a limb. Don’t let your bills and other needs add to your stress. A pre-settlement loan will help you get your life back on track.
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