Court Approves Bair Hugger Plaintiff Fact Sheet and Medical Form

bair-hugger-infectionUS District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen for the District of Minnesota approved a Plaintiff Fact Sheet as well as procedures to use it in 3M Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Products Liability Litigation — MDL No. 2666, where 700 cases are filed, charging that it causes deep hip and knee infections.

The Sept. 27 order specifies that each plaintiff must serve defendants’ lead counsel electronically with a completed 22-page Fact Sheet and a signed medical authorization within 90 days. New plaintiffs, or those who have their cases transferred to the MDL, also have 90 days after the filing of their complaint/short-form complaint, or completed transfer.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created the MDL on December 11, 2015, when only 14 cases were pending. The plaintiffs allege that the device is defective in two respects:

  1. The device affects airflow in the operating room, causing bacteria from the operating room floor to be deposited into the surgical site.
  2. The internal airflow paths of the device’s blower can become contaminated with pathogens that can then be expelled into the operating room.

Deep joint infection

The actions present common issues about the development, manufacture, testing, regulatory approval process, and marketing of the Bair Hugger blanket. The plaintiffs developed a deep joint infection after hip or knee implant surgery. 3M is accused of ignoring the flaw for years, and of failing to make design changes or provide appropriate safety warnings to the medical community.

The Bair Hugger surgical warming system was brought to market in 1987 by Arizant Healthcare, Inc., which was acquired by the 3M Company in 2008. For further information, see Study: Contamination Increased 2000x With Bair Hugger Warming Blanket.

Starting in November 2016, the regularly scheduled status conferences shall be held on the third Thursday of each month.


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