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Bair Hugger Joint Infection

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Bair Hugger Warming System Complications: Deep joint infection risks investigation underway over concerns forced-air warmer blanket used during hip and knee replacement surgeries causing dangerous joint infections.

If surgeons used a Bair 3M Hugger forced-air blanket and you suffered an infection, you may have entitlement to compensation. Speak with our Bair Hugger lawsuit settlements attorney to discuss your legal options now.

You may have a legal claim against the manufacturer for failing to warn you of the potential for dangerous complications. The forced-air blanket is under investigation for periprosthetic joint infection risks to patients.

If you have suffered a deep joint infection up to one year post-op, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. Share what happened by filling out the form on this page for a confidential case review now.

You could have entitlement to significant compensation for the suffering you and your family have endured.


Keeping patients warm during surgery reduces bleeding and improves recovery time. The Bair Hugger is a disposable blanket that connects to a portable heater that blows hot air. It helps patients under anesthesia regulate their body temperature. When the Bair Hugger was introduced to the market in 1988, it had a profound impact on surgical practices.

However, the Bair Hugger may pose the risk of dangerous complications for patients who receive joint implants. It is alleged in a growing number of Bair Hugger lawsuits that forced air may spread bacteria into the surgical site, putting patients at risk for deep joint infections.


Studies of forced-air warmers, including the Bair Hugger, have not conclusively determined they cause surgical site infections (“SSIs”), but the studies raise concern about their potential risks.

A 2011 study, “Forced-air warming blowers: An evaluation of filtration adequacy and airborne contamination emissions in the operating room,” published in the American Journal of Infection Control, found 58 percent of the forced-air warmers studied (including the Bair Hugger) produced and emitted airborne contaminants. Although the study did not determine whether the contaminants were viable, it observed that high levels of contamination are not necessary to cause an infection when dealing with a hip or knee replacement.

Moreover, several studies show that the Bair Hugger’s forced air significantly disrupts the ultra-clean airflow used in operating rooms. These studies also show that the Bair Hugger is likely to cause temperature differences that cause convection currents. Those convection currents, in turn, could draw air from non-sterile areas, such as the floor, into the surgical site.

At least one study described air from the non-sterile areas as laden with pathogens, thereby compromising the surgical site’s sterility. A 2011 study, “Forced-air warming and ultra clean ventilation do not mix,” published in Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, proposed that the forced-air warmer’s disruption of the ultra-clean air along with its creation of convection currents drawing air from non-sterile areas are plausible explanations for what it found to be a significant association between using forced-air warmers and risk of SSIs.

Finally, a 2012 study, “Do forced air patient-warming devices disrupt unidirectional downward airflow?” (Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery) and two 2013 studies—“Forced-air patient warming blankets disrupt unidirectional flow” (Bone & Joint Journal) and “Patient Warming Excess Heat: The Effects on Orthopedic Operating Room Ventilation Performance” (Anesthesia & Analgesia)—found forced-air warming significantly increased the number of airborne particles over the surgical site. The studies did not conclude the additional particles carried bacteria, but they found the increased particles a cause for concern.


If suffering from a post-operative joint infection and a patient warming system was in usage, you may have legal options. Attorneys investigate the possible links between the device and increased infection risks in patients. You can view the FDA warning letter to the manufacturer over safety concerns here.

According to a recent Bair Hugger lawsuit complaint filed against the device manufacturer 3M, “the warming device picked up germs and blew them directly onto the hip replacement” during the procedure.

The forced air warming device may cause disruptions in the clean ventilation systems used in surgical procedures to guard against infections such as STAPH. Patients may not know of the Bair Hugger infection risks before opting in for the procedure. There is a reconsideration of forced air warming in use during joint arthroplasty procedures for the hip and knee because of the possible infection risk.


It is important to act quickly when filing your 3M Bair Hugger lawsuit. Regulations limit the amount of time victims of complications have to report a claim and pursue your legal rights. If you suffered a deep joint infection within a year of your surgical procedure, contact us immediately.

Contact our Bair Hugger attorneys to get the latest information on Bair Hugger lawsuits.

You are under no obligation to file a lawsuit. You will simply share the details of your case so we can discuss your options. If you do choose to proceed, there are no costs; if we don’t win, you don’t pay.



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