If you have suffered an infection after deep joint replacement surgery, the culprit may be the surgical blanket used to keep you warm. There has been considerable debate in the medical community about patient safety and whether forced-air warming systems can cause surgical infections during deep joint replacement surgery such as hip and knee replacement.
Patient warming devices and equipment are needed to prevent mild hypothermia during hip, knee or joint replacement surgery. They also help reduce bleeding and allow patients to recover more quickly after surgery. However, it is suspected that there are dangers of forced air warming devices (FAWs) that increase the risk of infection to patients.
What Is Patient Warming?
In terms of patient safety, it is important that individuals having knee, hip and other joint replacement surgery maintain their core body temperature during surgical procedures. The medical community refers to this as "normothermia," or keeping the patient's core body temperature as close to normal as possible. All scientific and medical research indicates that even a slight loss in body temperature (or mild hypothermia) can jeopardize patient safety, and can lead to adverse effects such as increased blood loss, cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, delayed recovery times, delayed healing of the wounds and an increase in surgical site infections.
Patient Warming Devices And Systems
Today's technological advancements in medical devices and manufactured equipment allow hospitals to choose different options when warming patients during prosthetic and joint replacement surgery. Perioperative normothermia systems include Forced Air Warming systems (FAWs), fluid warming systems, intravenous fluid warming, and warming blankets and pads.
Although these systems are critical in maintaining normothermia during joint replacement surgery, the risk of surgical infection to patients is always present. FAWs in particular can disturb or "kick-up" contaminated air near the floor of operating rooms. Like most floors, operating room floors contain bacteria and contaminants (such as dead skin cells) that can come in contact with the patient and lead to significant adverse health effects including increased risk of deep joint infections.
If you have contracted an infection during hip surgery or another operation involving a Bair Hugger FAW, it may be possible to seek compensation for the harm you have suffered. Our attorneys can help you evaluate your options, which may include a medical malpractice lawsuit or a product liability lawsuit against Bair Hugger's manufacturers.
Call Today For A Free Initial Consultation
Contact the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia law offices of Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C. Our lawyers will meet with you at one of our offices in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, your home, or the hospital to discuss your situation and provide seasoned advice.
Call 412-567-1232 in Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania, 215-792-6153 in Philadelphia or Eastern Pennsylvania or toll free at 866-466-5789. You may also complete our online contact form, and someone from our firm will reach out to you promptly.