Patients rely on medical devices to work properly, especially when they are in life-and-death situations. People who are under anesthesia are vulnerable to a world of dangers—including the very products that were designed to keep them safe.
Forced Air Warming Blankets Have Caused Serious Injuries to Surgery Patients
Forced air warming blankets are one the medical devices putting patients at risk. When a patient is under anesthesia, he or she is less able to regulate body temperature, increasing the risk of hypothermia. The warming device was manufactured as a way to keep patients’ bodies warm during surgery.
However, the blanket’s heater has an unintended side effect: it can pick up bacteria from the hospital room and circulate it over the patient, contaminating the surgical site and infecting the patient. This bacteria can cling to bodily tissues, implants, and medical tools, and can survive within the patient’s body after the surgeon closes the wound.
Infections from forced air warming blankets have caused patients to suffer a number of life-threatening ailments, including:
- Hospitalization. Not only are patients forced to prolong their hospital stays, they are at increased risk of additional hospital-acquired infections, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is resistant to many common forms of antibiotics.
- Implant revision surgery. Infections during hip or knee replacement surgery may only be able to be corrected by removing the infected devices.
- Permanent disability. Multiple revision surgeries due to infection can wear down the bones and bodily tissues significantly, making it impossible for the patient to recover his full range of motion.
- Amputation. An infection may become so widespread that the only way to save the patient’s life is to remove the diseased limb completely.
- Death. Patients who cannot fight the infection due to weakened immune systems may succumb to their injuries, suffering an untimely death.
Companies May Have Ignored Risks of Forced Air Warming Blankets
Several lawsuit have been filed in recent years by patients who have been injured by these medical devices. Many lawsuits have claimed that the manufacturers of forced air warming blankets were aware of the risk of infection but failed to warn healthcare providers of the risk. Patients also allege that the manufacturers tried to hide and discredit scientific data linking the device to an increased risk of infection.
Although medical device manufacturers are obligated to create and promote safe products, the evidence against these manufacturers suggests that the companies denied surgical site infection risks for nearly 20 years. Certain manufacturers have been sued on accusations of failing to properly test the forced air warming blankets, and also of continuing to market the devices despite reports of injury.
The Fierce Representation You Deserve After a Forced Air Warming Blanket Infection
If you or a loved one suffered harm caused by a forced air warming blanket system, we can provide the dedicated representation you need to win your claim. McGartland Law Firm, PLLC, has nearly 30 years of experience representing injury victims, fighting to hold medical device manufacturers accountable for harm, and recovering compensation for injured consumers. We take your injuries seriously and work hard to recover the financial damages that you are entitled to by law.
Since our firm works with attorneys in every state, we are proud to provide legal services to victims of medical device injuries all over the U.S. No matter where you live or where your injury occurred, we will fight aggressively to get you maximum compensation for the loss of income, medical costs, and suffering caused by your surgical infection. Your injuries matter—and we can help you hold the company responsible! Call or email us today to speak with a legal representative about your case.