Bair Hugger System

  •  verdict

The Bair Hugger system is a surgical warming blanket that treats, prevents, and monitors unintended hypothermia and its associated problems in surgical patients. It is marketed under the 3M Bair Hugger brand name. It was approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1988 as the first surgical blanket that worked on a forced air system. The company offers 25 Bair Hugger blankets in various styles and sizes offering a warming tool for any surgical procedure.

It works on a system devised by Dr. Scott D. Augustine and consists of a portable heater/blower connected by a flexible hose to a blanket that blows warm air around the patient’s body to help maintain his body temperature during a surgery. Faster recovery time and less bleeding are a few of the benefits that have been revealed by a study performed in patients who were kept warm during a surgery.

Serious Alleged Injuries may include:

  • Bair Hugger Complications Potential treatments that may be needed to address the deep joint infections caused by a Bair Hugger hospital blanket warmers may include: Hospitalization Physical therapy Surgery Removal of implant Amputation of the affected lim

FDA Safety Warnings:

Dr. Scott D. Augustine is, however, campaigning against his own discovery since his resignation as chairman and chief executive of Arizant Healthcare Inc., in 2002. He claims the Bair Hugger therapy can cause infectious bacteria to spread during an orthopedic surgery. During the procedure, air is also released under the surgical table at the same time. This released air under the table can cause germs and bacteria to spread throughout the room, landing on a patient's surgical incision site. Infections such as sepsis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the patient’s hip or knee can occur. Deep joint infections, adverse health complications, and other hospital-acquired infections have a higher probability of occurrence. Subsequent treatments become very difficult if they occur deep in the joints.

Legal Updates:

A number of MRSA lawsuits have been filed post Dr. Augustine’s warning about the MRSA infection and other acquired infections over the use of Bair Hugger blanket. Patients who developed infections after surgeries involving Bair Hugger temperature management systems filed ‘3M lawsuits’ claiming the device's manufacturer, 3M, was negligent as it failed to warn the doctors and patients of the Bair Hugger infection risk and misrepresented its products as safe to use.

Centralization of the existing lawsuits against 3M Bair Hugger system took place in December 2015, in the federal court, Minnesota.

Multidistrict litigation 2666 ( (In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Devices Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2666) was established with product liability Personal Injury cases filed, and additional cases are expected to be filed in or transferred to this Court.

In January 2016, witnessed a filing of at least 112 individual 3M Lawsuits.

At least 2,000 3M Bair Hugger lawsuits are pending in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.

Presiding Judges:

United States District Judge Joan N. Ericksen

Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel

The first Bair Hugger trial is scheduled for February 26, 2018.


  • Anesthesia records of the surgery
  • Perioperative temperature management records
  • Surgical Care Improvement Project Data (SCIP)
  • Operative report to treat postoperative infections.

Medical Record Review and claim validation of Bair Hugger System case should take approximately 2 hours in most instances; however, this approximation may vary in cases based on the volume of records.

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