Knee Replacement MRSA Infection Lawsuit Filed Over 3M Bair Hugger Surgical Warmer
3M Company and it’s Arizant Healthcare subsidiary face a product liability lawsuit that indicates a New Mexico woman contracted an antibiotic resistant MRSA infection following knee replacement surgery, which was allegedly caused by use of a Bair Hugger surgical warming blanket durning the procedure.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Susan Borroughs in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on January 1, claiming that the forced-air surgical warmer used to control her body temperature during a joint replacement caused her to develop a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection.
The 3M Bair Hugger surgical warmer is a popular device found in many operating rooms throughout the United States, which is commonly used during hip and knee replacement procedures. However, in recent months, concerns have emerged about the risk that the forced-air system may pose an unreasonable danger for patients, allowing particles and contaminants to entire the sterile surgical field.
Borroughs underwent left knee replacement surgery on December 5, 2012. Afterward, she began to suffer persistent pain which was diagnosed as a MRSA deep joint infection. As a result, she had to undergo wound irrigation, debridement and the implant of an antibiotic spacer in her knee on January 4, 2013. That was followed by several additional surgeries over the course of the next trhree months, includng the removal and replacement of the new knee she had just received.
As a result of the knee replacement MRSA infection, the lawsuit indicates that Borroughs still cannot walk without assistance and suffers chronic pain due to the infection.
The Bair Hugger is designed to force hot air into a warming blanket that is placed over the patient during surgery. However, Borroughs indicates that the device disrupts the laminar flow of the operating room, which is designed to keep contaminants out of the surgical theater. In addition, Burroughs claims that the internal passageways of the surgical warmer may become contaminated with pathogens, making the product unreasonably dangerous during ordinary use.
“The publication of numerous peer-reviewed studies identifying and documenting the critical safety shortcomings of the Bair Hugger should have prompted [the manufacturers] to redesign or discontinue their product,” Burroughs states in the complaint. “Rather than alter the design of their product or warn physicians of the dangers associated with the Bair Hugger… Defendants have chosen to ‘double down’ on their efforts to promote their defective product.”
Last month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to centralize all Bair Hugger lawsuits pending in the federal court system before U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen in the District of Minnesota, as part of an MDL, or Multi-District Litigation.
As hip and knee infection lawyers continue to review and file additional lawsuits, it is ultimately expected that 3M and Arizant will face hundreds, if not thousands, of cases brought on behalf of individuals diagnosed with MRSA, sepsis or other deep joint infections following surgery.
As part of any coordinated pretrial proceedings before Judge Ericksen, it is expected that a small group of cases will be prepared for early trial dates. Known as “bellwether” cases, the outcomes are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that may be repeated throughout the litigation, potentially promoting settlement negotiations to resolve cases brought by individuals who have experienced problems.
MarkJanuary 11, 2018 at 9:41 am
Caught mrsa and had to have total knee replacement reduce 3 weeks after original. Bed ridden 6 weeks with antibiotics ivy
bruceDecember 3, 2016 at 9:48 am
I just received a letter from the hospital that performed my open heart surgery and they told me I may have been infected with NTM from a device that sounds a lot like this one that they used to warm my blood during surgery. I have been diagnosed with mersa since the operation and am being treated for it it has attacked different parts of my body as my doctor tells me it has infected my bone marro[Show More]I just received a letter from the hospital that performed my open heart surgery and they told me I may have been infected with NTM from a device that sounds a lot like this one that they used to warm my blood during surgery. I have been diagnosed with mersa since the operation and am being treated for it it has attacked different parts of my body as my doctor tells me it has infected my bone marrow and travels at will. I suffer from a long list of problems from copd to pussy modules developing in blood vesels at one time in my scrodum discolorization of skin much more i
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