What is a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket?

Bair Hugger Warming Blankets are frequently used medical devices manufactured by Arizant and 3M. Surgeons and doctors use warming blankets to keep patients warm during various procedures. In 1987, Doctor Scott Augustine invented the Bair Hugger. Now, over 300 million of patients have used Bair Hugger Warming Blankets. Doctor Augustine created this product to help patients be more comfortable before and after surgery. More than 80% of hospitals in the United States use Bair Hugger Warming Blankets.

How do the Bair Hugger Warming Blankets Work?

Bair Hugger Warming Blankets bring heat close to the patient's body to help increase blood flow. The blanket uses a forced-air warming (FAW) system that is designed to prevent hypothermia. These blankets help people who during the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative stages of surgery.

This process helps increase a patient's blood flow, which increases the healing process. Increased circulation helps with healing because it brings warmth and nutrients to the affected areas of the body on which the surgeon operated. The blankets also help eliminate toxins and harmful cells that can hurt the patient's recovery and health.

How do Bair Hugger Warming Blankets Keep Patients Warm?

These blankets are disposable to reduce the chance of harmful bacteria being transferred between patients. These blankets protect patients by making sure heat does not affect pressure sores or burns. All of these blankets also feature drain holes in which liquid can pass through the surface of the blanket to the linen underneath the blanket. This feature is supposed to reduce a person's risk of skin becoming too soft and reduce the risk of unintended cooling. The blankets prevent heat from evaporating off of the person's body.

The Benefits of Bair Hugger Warming Blankets

Bair Hugger Warming Blankets resemble a regular blanket. These blankets use extensive technology, however. These blankets have different settings for different temperatures. These settings allow patients to receive a consistent stream of air across their bodies. The blankets have modules that inject warm air via a heating unit. These blankets are constructed to ensure flexibility in a way that will help them arrange in many ways.

When do Surgeons Use Bair Hugger Warming Blankets?

Surgeons use these blankets on all different types of surgeries, including the following:

  • Knee replacement
  • Hip replacement
  • Hypothermic conditions
  • Any surgery that requires anesthesia
The History of Bair Hugger Warming Blankets

Almost all surgery patients become hypothermic during surgery. Hypothermia happens when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat. The doctor who created these blankets created them in an attempt to prevent patients from becoming hypothermic during the surgery. The Bair Hugger Warming Blanket system includes the blanket itself, as well as warming units and accessories.

Bair Hugger Warming Blanket and the FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the first version of Bair Hugger warming systems in 1987. The FDA cleared the product without proof from clinical trials that the blankets were safe enough to use in surgery. Between 1990 and 2002l the FDA issued 12 more clearances for similar medical devices. Eventually, Arizant purchased the Bair Hugger product line, the FDA decided to issue two more clearances for their medical devices.

Within the last 30 years on the market, there have been many adverse events that have been reported to the FDA. Since the products hit the market, many people have reported adverse events from using the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket. These adverse incidents most often involve patients being burned or prolonged exposure to heat during their surgery. Blanket equipment malfunctions can result in cold air circulating underneath the blanket.

The FDA reacted to concerns regarding the potential risk of infection for patients exposed to Bair Hugger Warming Blankets. It reviewed data and research and sent a letter to medical doctors and surgeons who use the blankets. It did recommend the continued use of warming blankets, but stated that it would actively monitor the situation and update the situation as necessary.

In 2018, over 165,000 warming blankets were recalled because of a design defect. This defect was not related to the risk of infection, but the design flaw involved some blankets not fully inflating, which could lead to dangerous body temperature changes. When one blanket failed to inflate all the way, a patient suffered hypothermia and suffered a body temperature of only 95 degrees.

Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers as Soon as Possible

If you have suffered personal injuries after you have used a Bair Hugger Warming Blanket, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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