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Bair Hugger | Mass Torts

Invented by Dr. Scott Augustine, the Bair Hugger has been used in hospitals over the last two decades. This forced air warming device uses a heater to blow air through a specialized blanket – an ideal and effective solution for keeping patients warm while promoting the post-operative healing process. The Bair Hugger is not the perfect solution for all patients – even Dr. Augustine has warned that it may increase the risk of serious infections. “[The Bair Hugger]” is a danger to patients receiving implant devices like artificial heart valves and joints because the forced air can spread bacteria associated with hospital – acquired infections,” Augustine told The New York Times back in 2010. Operating room floors, for example, are rife with the type of bacteria and contaminants that can be easily spread by forced air warmers such as the Bair Hugger. MRSA, in particular, can be spread through the use of forced air warmers and cause deep joint infections and sepsis. In other words, use of a Bair Hugger in or near an operating room can ultimately lead to more surgeries, treatment with IV antibiotics, joint replacements, extended physical therapy – and even amputations.

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