Hip Replacement Infection Lawsuit

hip replacement infection lawsuitHip replacement infection lawsuit plaintiffs are seeking compensation for post-operative deep joint infections allegedly caused by the 3M Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket. These complaints charge that the Bair Hugger allows contaminated air from the operating room floor to come in contact with the surgical site during hip implant procedures, placing patients at risk for MRSA, sepsis and other dangerous infections.

Hip Replacement Infection Lawsuit Investigation

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP has launched an investigation into hip replacement infections that may have been caused by the 3M Bair Hugger surgical blanket. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with a deep joint infection following hip implant surgery, please call (888) 994-5118 to learn if you might be qualified to file a Bair Hugger lawsuit.

Hip Replacement Infections: What You Need to Know.

Fortunately, hip replacement infections are rare, and affect only about 1% of patients. However, recovery is difficult and painful for the few who do develop a serious deep joint infection following implant surgery, as the body’s immune system is unable to combat bacteria once it contaminates the metal, plastic and ceramic in an artificial hip. Antibiotic-resistant infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can even travel to the bones, joints, the blood, or nearby organs. Resolving the infection can require months of IV antibiotic therapy, additional surgeries, replacement of the artificial joint, and even amputation in the most serious cases.

A hip replacement infection can occur shortly after surgery, or months after a joint has been implanted. Patients should contact their doctors if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Growing pain or stiffness in the hip
  • Swelling, warmth, redness around the hip
  • Drainage from the incision
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Unexplained fatigue

Bair Hugger Infection Allegations

The Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket is manufactured by the 3M Company’s Arizant Healthcare, Inc. subsidiary. Today, it is used by thousands of U.S. hospitals to help patients maintain an optimal body temperature during surgical procedures. The apparatus consists of a portable heater that forces warm air through a hose into a disposable blanket that is draped over the patient.

A growing number of hip replacement infection lawsuits claim that the Bair Hugger suffers from a design flaw that allows it to sweep up air from the operating room floor and deposit it into the surgical site. Treatment of the resulting infections may include:

  • IV or oral antibiotic therapy
  • Repeat surgeries to debride soft tissue and repair damage caused by the infection
  • Insertion of antibiotic spacers in the joint
  • Surgery to remove and replace the hip implant
  • Amputation if the infection is not cured

Bair Hugger Litigation News

  • In 2013, the first hip infection lawsuit involving the Bair Hugger was filed on behalf of a Texas man who underwent 15 surgeries to treat an infection he allegedly developed due to the forced air warming blanket. Since then, dozens of plaintiffs have filed similar lawsuits that accuse 3M and Arizant of failing to warn doctors about the risks allegedly associated with the device.
  • In August 2015, Bair Hugger plaintiffs petitioned the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to centralize all federally-filed hip and knee infection lawsuits involving the device in a single U.S. District Court for the purposes of coordinated pretrial proceedings. The plaintiffs’ motion contends that a centralized litigation will allow what could be hundreds of similar filings to move more efficiently through the courts. 3M and Arizant maintain that the allegations have no basis in science, and have asked the JPML to deny the plaintiffs’ motion. Oral arguments on the matter will be heard on December 3, 2015. Read More
  • In December 2015, 14 federal forced air warming cases involving the Bair Hugger are centralized in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. An additional 50 cases pending in federal courts are designated as potential tag-along actions, and any hip or knee replacement lawsuits filed over the device in the future will also be eligible for transfer to the multidistrict litigation. Read More
  • On January 13, 2016, the first Pretrial Order is issued in the federal Bair Hugger litigation underway in the District of Minnesota, where 82 hip and knee infection lawsuits are now pending. The Order indicates that the litigation’s first status conference will be convened at a still-to-be-determined date in February. Discovery in all cases is stayed pending the conference and further order of the Court. Read More

Hip Infection Lawsuit Evaluations

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now offering free case reviews to individuals who may have been harmed by the Bair Hugger surgical blanket. To learn more about the legal issues involved in pursuing a hip replacement infection lawsuit, please contact our office by calling (888) 994-5118.

Last Modified: January 19, 2016

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