Philadelphia Lawyer for Injuries Caused by 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blankets
Finding yourself in need of serious medical attention and a hospital visit can be a scary situation, especially if it turns out that you have to undergo surgery. Patients often take comfort in the fact that they have access to the highest level of care, with some of the best medical professionals and equipment, but there are times when one or the other doesn’t perform as expected.
One of the most common pieces of equipment used in hospitals – particularly during surgery – is the 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket, which works to maintain a patient’s core body temperature before, during, and after a procedure. In recent years, these blankets have come under scrutiny for their potential to cause injuries or complications. If you or a loved one has suffered due to the use of a 3M Bair Hugger device, contact the skilled attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm right away. Our Philadelphia product liability lawyers for injuries caused by 3M Bair Hugger warming blankets can fight for your rights and work toward just compensation; visit us online or call (215) 709-6940 to set up a free consultation today.
Common Injuries Caused by 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blankets in Philadelphia
As the name suggests, the 3M Bair Hugger warming system is a product designed to keep patients’ temperatures up during their stay at the hospital, most often right before, during, or after orthopedic surgery. To do so, the system draws in air, filters it, warms it, then forces it through a disposable blanket covering the patient. Unfortunately, this warming system may not always work as intended, and when it doesn’t, patients tend to suffer injuries. The following are the most commonly reported injuries caused by 3M Bair Hugger warming blankets in Philadelphia:
To date, more than 4,000 lawsuits have been filed against 3M Company for their warming blankets’ alleged propensity for spreading infections to patients. These claims – which are supported by several studies – revolve around the idea that the 3M Bair Hugger warming system may draw in bacteria and other contaminants in the air and blow them into a patient’s surgical incision during a procedure. Many of these claims come from patients who underwent joint replacement surgery, a type of procedure that already involves a heightened risk of infection and which can lead to serious complications, including septic arthritis and (in extreme cases) amputation.
The other common injury related to 3M Bair Hugger warming blankets is hypothermia, a condition defined by an unusually low body temperature. While this may seem like an unusual injury, considering the purpose of these products, a design defect in some of the Bair Hugger blankets can prevent the blankets from inflating completely, which could cause dangerous changes in a patient’s body temperature while undergoing surgery. This defect is so significant that it led 3M to recall more than 165,000 warming blankets from Philadelphia and other places in 2018, but it’s unclear how many of these blankets were returned to the company and how many remain in use today.
Determining Liability for 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Injuries in Philadelphia
Whatever the nature of the injury caused by a 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket, a victim’s first concern is usually finding out who is to blame for their condition. Naturally, the first thought most people have is to place blame on the maker of these blankets, 3M Company. While this may be an accurate assumption, determining fault in Philadelphia product liability cases is often more complicated than people expect; a skilled Philadelphia lawyer for injuries caused by 3M Bair Hugger warming blankets can walk you through this process and help ensure that the proper parties are held accountable.
Depending on what type of defect caused your injury, either the product designer or manufacturer could be at fault. In the case of the manufacturer, showing liability under the law is fairly simple; all you need to prove is that the product had a defect that caused your injury. In the case of a design flaw, however, the standard of proof is somewhat higher. The injured party must show that the product failed to meet either the consumer expectations standard or risk-utility standard – two legal concepts your attorney can explain – before the designer can be held responsible.
One other point to remember is that the Philadelphia hospital where you underwent surgery may bear some blame for your injury, though this will largely depend on their level of awareness of the issues with 3M Bair Hugger blankets. For instance, if the hospital knew that the blankets in their stock were subject to a recall or potentially unsafe but used them anyway, they could be partly liable. In addition, keep in mind that you may also bear some responsibility in certain circumstances (from a legal standpoint, at least). For example, if you develop an infection after surgery but forgot or refused to take the antibiotics prescribed after the procedure, you may be found at fault to some degree; however, if you did everything you were supposed to do and still suffered an injury, then the responsibility lies with others, and those parties must be held accountable for the harm they caused.
Contact the Philadelphia Lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm for Injuries Caused by 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blankets
If you or a loved one is struggling with the consequences of the use of a 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket in Philadelphia, know that you’re not alone. The skilled legal representatives at the Reiff Law Firm have years of experience helping clients with product liability cases like yours, and we will work diligently on your behalf to get you fair compensation for your injuries. To meet with a Philadelphia lawyer for injuries caused by 3M Bair Hugger warming blankets, visit us online or call (215) 709-6940 today and set up your free consultation.