Court records suggest that in the 30 days between December 15, 2016 and January 15 of this year an additional 166 Bair Hugger lawsuits have landed in Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation: representing newly-filed lawsuits, or pre-existing lawsuits newly-transferred to the MDL – or any combination thereof. As of January 15, there were 1,105 cases pending (In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2666, US District Court, District of Minnesota).
The Bair Hugger warming blanket system was originally developed and marketed by Arizant Healthcare Inc., before the latter and its products were acquired by 3M. Now, 3M is facing many a 3M warming blanket lawsuit alleging the Bair Hugger system upsets the carefully-controlled flow of sterile, germ-free air within the operating theatre designed to enshroud the patient area and, specifically, the surgical wound.
The original idea behind the Bair Hugger was laudable with regard to the prevention of hypothermia – especially over the course of long procedures in a room that is customarily kept at lower temperatures in an effort to stem migration of bacteria and promote alertness amongst surgeons and support staff.
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Various Bair Hugger deep joint lawsuits assert that hip, and knee replacement procedures are particularly susceptible to complications stemming from infection. At least two Bair Hugger plaintiffs assert the loss of a leg through amputation, a response asserted to be a direct result of a deep joint infection fostered by the use of the Bair Hugger warming blanket, or so it is alleged.
There may be in excess of 1105 cases in total, as the MDL only houses those lawsuits filed in federal court.