The Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket from 3M has hit the news headlines again for all the wrong reasons. A product liability and personal injury lawsuit has been filed by Tracy Crawford from Mississippi. She suffered a severe knee surgery infection after using the product while she was receiving orthopedic joint replacement surgery.
Crawford started legal proceedings against 3M by filing her complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. She is claiming that the product is dangerous when used as a warming blanket during a knee and hip replacement procedure.
Crawford went on to say that the Bair Hugger forced air warm blanket was the product used to adjust her body temperature during her knee procedure. However, it caused a serious knee infection because bacteria from the Bair Hugger forced air warm blanket entered her surgical wound.
The implant Crawford received during the knee replacement surgery had to be removed. An antibiotic spacer was inserted instead because of the complications caused by the product. She has received months of treatment since including another knee replacement operation as well as other procedures related to the problem.
Hip and Knee Replacement Infection Lawsuits on the Rise
This is not the only lawsuit of this type taken against 3M. Other Bair Hugger warming blanket cases are also featuring in the headlines. It’s alleged to have caused a wide range of health complications and even led to knee and leg amputations.
Request to Consolidate Bair Hugger Lawsuits
An application was recently submitted to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate each Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket lawsuit taken against 3M in the United States. This often happens in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries because of the high number of legal actions taken. This process is called Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).
The 3M world headquarters is located in Minneapolis which means this MDL could take place in Minnesota federal court. An MDL is a faster way to get to trial because everyone involved in each lawsuit is in one location, under the supervision of the same judge.
Why is the 3M Bair Hugger Causing So Many Problems?
The Bair Hugger is a hot air blanket used to stabilize a patient’s body temperature during knee and hip replacement surgery. However, in some instances the forced air system of the blanket allows bacteria and contaminated particles to enter the surgical wound.
Infections Not Addressed by 3M
The Bair Hugger is a popular warming blanket, with more than 50,000 used in U.S. hospitals. However, it’s claimed 3M were aware of the problems with this medical product for many years but did not take the appropriate action.