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Knee and Hip Surgery Infection Lawsuits

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Reports of serious infections following hip replacement and knee replacement procedures may be linked to the use of Bair Hugger warming blanket. The forced-air warmers (FAWs) may cause contaminants from the operating room floor to enter the surgical site.

HIP AND KNEE SURGERY INFECTION LAWSUIT STATUS: Product liability lawyers are reviewing potential hip surgery infection lawsuits and knee surgery infection lawsuits for individuals who may have had a Bair Hugger used during their procedure to keep the body warm.

Complaints allege that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn about the Bair Hugger infection risk during knee and hip surgery.

>>SUBMIT INFO ABOUT A KNEE OR HIP INFECTION<<

BAIR HUGGER MANUFACTURER: 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare

OVERVIEW: The 3M Bair Hugger is a forced air warming device used during hip and knee surgery at most hospitals throughout the U.S. There are more than 50,000 of the Bair Hugger warming blankets in use, and estimates suggest that they are used during more than 80% of all hip replacements and knee replacements.

The Bair Hugger warmer contains a portable heater/blower unit, with a flexible hose that is hooked up to a disposable blanket that is positioned over surgical patients. The forced air warming blanket is designed to deliver warm air onto a patient during an operation to keep the wound area and patient appropriately heated, which reduces the risk of bleeding and shortens recovery times.

Reports and studies have raised questions about the safety of Bair Huggers and other forced air warming devices, which may cause bacteria and particles from the operating room floor to be forced up and into the sterile area around the open wound. These contaminants may cause catestrophic hip surgery infections and knee surgery infections, often resulting in the need for additional surgery and leaving patients with permanent injury.

BAIR HUGGER INFECTION PROBLEMS: Safety questions have been raised in recent years about the Bair Hugger and a number of product liability lawsuits are currently being pursued by individuals who experienced an infection after hip or knee replacement surgery.

As a result of deep joint infections caused by Bair Hugger warming blankets, plaintiffs claim that they have suffered a variety of serious injuries, including:

    • Multiple Hip or Knee Revision Surgeries
    • Antibiotic Spacers Implanted
    • Amputation
    • Death

Lawsuits allege that the Bair Hugger warming blanket are unreasonably dangerous and can deposit infectious agents into patient’s wounds due to poor filtration systems and defective design, resulting in infections after hip replacement or knee replacement surgery.

Potential red flags about the safety of forced air warmers have been raised since at least 2010, when researchers from the U.S. and U.K. warned that the design led to filters that were “found to be inadequate for preventing the internal buildup and emission of microbial contaminants into the operating room.” The researchers determined that “substandard intake filtration” could allow contaminants to get into the blower and then be deposited onto the patient’s surgical site.

Other studies found evidence of increased rates of deep hip and knee joint infections when the warming blankets were used, and warned that the devices may disrupt operating room air flow, allowing particles from non-sterile parts of the room to reach the surgical area.

HIP AND KNEE SURGERY INFECTIONS: Knee and hip surgery infections from a Bair Hugger or other forced-air warming device can be serious and potentially life-threatening.

Bacteria entering the surgical area may result in:

      • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
      • Sepsis or Septic Hip/Knee
      • Deep Joint Infection

MRSA infections, which are resistant to treatment by penicillin-based antibiotics, have accounted for more than 60 percent of hospital staph infections in recent years. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 126,000 hospital MRSA infections occur each year, resulting in about 5,000 deaths. However, some researchers suggest that the number of deaths from MRSA in the U.S. is closer to 20,000 annually.

Common treatments for knee or hip replacement infections require multi-stage revision surgery, often involving the placement of an antibiotic spacer for some time, which severely limits mobility.

FIND OUT IF YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR A HIP OR KNEE SURGERY INFECTION SETTLEMENT: Free consultations and claim evaluations are provided by hip and knee infection lawyers for individuals throughout the United States who have been diagnosed with infections following use of a Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket.

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11 comments

  1. Cheryl Reply

    Since November 2006 I have had aprox 8 surgery’s on my knee 2 of which have been total knee replacements, knee antibiotic spacers I had to keep in for 30 days where I could not bend my knee. Ruptured patella tendons and MRSA twice that I know of with a high potent anitibiotic given to me through IV at home for another 30 days. There was a Bear Hugger placed on me each time before going into the operating room, and after all this I have no use of leg, walk with a cane to keep me up straight, ruined both hips due to how I was walking and the other Dr.’s I have talked to won’t do revision surgery due to the MRSA.

  2. Debbie Reply

    I also have had multiple knee operations and two replacements on the same knee due to infections. My infection got worse and worse, and about a month ago, I was hospitalized with MRSA. I can also just be sitting there and a hole will open up at my scar and I will start leaking fluid, and this is 2 years after the last surgery!! I was told that the infection has now gone into the bone, therefore, I will always have the infection no matter what. They said the next step is to take the replacement out and I will be in a wheelchair.

  3. Ronald Reply

    I had Stryker Triafilon knee replacment April 1 2013, DR didn’t write me ANY anitobics & 6 weeks later, after I insisted on a blood test I was then told I had Septic MRSA & had sugery #2 followed with IV anitobics for 6 weeks then sugery #3 they removed implant & packed it with antibiotic beads followed up by 6 more weeks IV antibiotics, Sugery #4 I told DR to replace my implant & don’t put anything else in cause I told him he wasn’t gonna cut on me anymore! After another 6 weeks IV through a pick line my knee finally healed. It pops in & out, hurts 24/7 . Luckly I can get around on it. DR told me that I should be grateful to him that I was able to keep my leg, when it was his fault I got MRSA to start with. So sorry you didn’t do not so well with your knee problems.

  4. Glenn Reply

    I fell and hurt my knee, 1st treatment was a band aid, 2nd was a injection,3rd was 5 shots of Suparts? 4th was arthroscopic surgery,5th was total knee, after 2 months 6th surgery another total knee, after 4-5 months the left side of my knee got real warm, cracked and started to bleed, it looked like white very small worms in that area , then I had another total knee replacement by a different doctor,never was told what was wronr, that area was very painful to touch, now after surgery it hurts 24/7 cracks and pops when I walk, still about 3-4 degrees warmer and no feeling in that area, pain level in knee is a steady 7 out of 10. NOW my back is starting to hurt.i was on morphine and oxycodine for the past 5 years, since it didn’t do any good I started a plan to wean off it all,took me 4 months but I did it, no pain medicine since Jan 2015, I am just dealing with the pain, also had 155 physical therapy treatments did not do anything. I am 72 years old living in a world of pain ,can’t do anything no more. It,s a pure living hell.

  5. Wendy Reply

    My mother had knee replacement surgery in May 2011 at Stanly Regional Medical Center, Albemarle NC. Surgery was performed by Dr. John David Hill. They used a silver warming blanket. It was on her in the pre-op area before they wheeled her into surgery. She suffered major complications from this surgery resulting in infection which was treated with antibiotics. When she did not get any better, the same surgeon performed surgery again on 9/7/2011 and replaced a plastic piece of the artificial knee and washed out infection per his words following the surgery. On 9/12/2011 she was admitted to Stanly Manor nursing facility for IV therapy due to the infection. She contracted C-Diff in the nursing home as a result of the IV therapy resulting with an ER visit on 9/26/2011 back to Stanly Regional Medical Center. On 12/12/2011, Dr. Hill again performed surgery on her and removed the artificial knee and inserted a medical grade cement knee that time released antibiotics into her system. Dr Hill was scheduled to perform a full knee replacement again on 5/10/2012 on the same knee, but called the evening before and stated he would not operate on her again. She then went to Orthocarolina in Charlotte where she saw Dr. David Beaver. He performed the final knee replacement on 7/6/2012. She passed away on 1/23/2013. I firmly believe and have since her passing that the surgeries performed by Dr John David Hill and the ensueing infections directly caused her passing. My name is Wendy Dorsey Rachels and I am the deceased’s daughter. My brother Aaron Ronald Dorsey, Jr and I (her only heirs) would like for her case to be reviewed based on the use of the warming blanket. It may have been used in all the surgeries at Stanly Regional Medical Center, but we vividly remember seeing it at the first surgery.

  6. mary Reply

    Are these mrsa infections caused by the Baer warming blankets only following knee and hip replacements? Or does it include other surgeries such as a hystorectomy due to ovarian cancer?

  7. CAyla Reply

    Same thing happened to me. And ten years later I just found out the infection I had was wet gangrene. Only because I ordered a copy of my medical records!

  8. Roxanne Reply

    Case Summary:
    Minor knee injury = total knee replacement???
    In 2010 I injured my knee and was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who said my right knee was in horrible shape and informed me that I needed a surgery after going over my xrays. He said that I had a meniscus tear where all of the cartilage was behind my knee. However that surgery led to three more surgeries. The second and third surgery where the same as the first except after each surgery my pain got worse. Then the same doctor told me that I needed my knee replaced. So in February of 2013 I had my right knee replaced at 33 years old. The doctor rushed me to the process and did not explain to me the risk of getting arthro fibrosis or any other risks involved. He simply repeated that i would feel like a brand new person & have a new knee and my life would go back to normal for a person my age. I had to return to the o.r. for manipulation of the joint A couple different times and now have unexplained spinal damage. In the beginning of this year I still had pain and it is no longer only my knee. The poor job of a knee replacement has left my right leg shorter than my left leg thus causing my body alignment to be disrupted which has resulted in several herniated and bulging discs. My husband ended our relationship saying I now have too many problems because he is sick and needs someone that can take care of him and his children. This ruined an 11 year relationship. It has completely ruined my life.

    Additional Information by Category
    Personal Injury
    I am seeking legal assistance to: Make a claim for an injury
    The claimed injury occurred on this date: 02/12/2013
    The claimed injury occurred at this location: Mercy hospital & Advanced Ortopedics
    The claimed nature of injuries is: Lower back pain
    Upper back pain
    Neck pain
    Headaches
    Nausea
    Difficulty sleeping
    Broken bones
    Loss of feeling in part of body
    Other: Herniated discs, consistent worsening pain, loss of range of motion, inability to have sexual relations with my husband without being interupted from pain caused separation, etc.

  9. Reva Reply

    My Husband Eugene had a total knee replacement in December 2011,done by Dr. Leith. In May 2012 he became seriously septic. Our Family doctorsent to hospital to be admitted at Our Lady Of Bellefonte Hospital. Dr. Leith was out of town so his partner, Dr. Goodwin came and aspirated it and found what looked like muddy creek water. So he took him to surgery and opened the knee and drained and bathed in antibiotics, and closed. Next day Dr. Leith arrived and stated he was going to take him to surgery in am to do one of two things and that was up to Eugene which, totally remove everything and place spacers in and no weight bearing for 6 to 8 weeks,,,,, or replace only the plastic parts. First option was approximately 85% no recurrence., second option about 60%. Eugene chose the first option. So he had spacers in for about 7 weeks and no weight bearing. Home Health came to the house. We gave him IV antibiotics though a central line. The last week of July he had new knee put in again. He also had PT after each occurrence. He never has been able to get back to what he was. March 2, 2015 he had another surgery to remove scar tissue, follow up with PT once again. Today he still can’t bend it hardly at all. Sometimes he falls or trips because he can’t tell how high he is lifting it.
    Thank you ,
    Reva

  10. Donna Reply

    How do you find out if a Bair Hugger was used during surgery? My husband was in a car accident in 2009 and had to have major hip surgery and replacement. He developed a Staph infection which required surgery to remove everything that had previously been put in. He went w/o a hip for almost a year.

  11. Kim Reply

    Did this effect the lungs? Mother had hip done and has been fighting lung bacteria since.

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