Bair Hugger Heat Blanket Injuries


Bair Hugger Heat Blanket Injuries

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Defective Medical Devices attorney. While surgery has seen some impressive advances over the past few years, people can still suffer a variety of complications from surgery. Many of these include the development of blood clots, hypothermia, and increased bleeding.

What is a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket?

A Bair Hugger warming blanket is a medical device typically used as a part of surgical procedures. The system utilizes forced air which circulates air that is heated into a warming blanket which covers a patient while under anesthesia. This keeps the body temperature of the patient stable during surgical operations. The system is used to ward off hypothermia and bring about improved recovery times. The Bair Hugger is a common piece of hospital equipment. About 80 percent of hospitals in this country utilize them.

The Bair Hugger is Supposed to Cut Down on Complications

Surgical complications are a well-known risk of every procedure and there have been devices invented to cut down on these complications to speed patient recovery and reduce cost to both the patient and the hospital. For example, compression stockings are used to improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots, along with anticoagulants. The Bair Hugger is an impressive device because it keeps patients warm during surgery, leading to a number of reduced complications. A patient who is warm during surgery has a lower chance of developing blood clots, has a lower chance of developing bleeding, and does not develop hypothermia; however, the Bair Hugger isn’t all good news.

Can a Bair Hugger Increase Surgical Complications as Well?

A Bair Hugger is a large blanket that covers most, if not all, of the patient’s body while leaving only the intended surgical area exposed. Patients are supposed to be completely sterilized prior to a surgical procedure to remove any bacteria from the skin and the surgical location; however, a Bair Hugger could potentially reintroduce bacteria to a sterile field if the blanket has not been stored or sterilized properly. Even though the patient’s skin is cleaned prior to surgery, bacteria (such as E. Coli) on the Bair Hugger itself could spread over the sterile skin and potentially infect the surgical site, leading to a host of complications that no patient should ever have to deal with.

What Results from an Infection in the Surgical Site?

If the patient develops an infection after a surgery, it could lead to a serious situation depending on the severity of the infection. For example, an infected surgical site could lead to the stiches coming apart, called wound dehiscence, particularly in physiomesh hernia repairs. This leads to bleeding and a reoperation, meaning the patient has to return to the OR. If the patient had a foreign body placed inside of them, such as a hip or knee replacement, this may have to be removed as well. A surgical site infection also means that the patient has to stay in the hospital longer, leading to higher medical bills. Overall, a surgical site infection is a serious complication that patients should avoid. The Bair Hugger could be spreading surgical site infections, leading to increased comorbidities.

Bair Hugger Heat Blanket Injuries Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Defective Medical Devices attorney. If you, or someone you love has suffered surgical complications from a Bair Hugger, please contact me at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. I also offer a toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.

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Bair Hugger Heat Blanket Injuries:

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