Bair Hugger


The Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket may contaminate hip and knee replacement surgical sites with MRSA and other serious infections.

Patients who developed an infection shortly after undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery may have been exposed to harmful bacterial spread by Bair Hugger®, a forced-air warming blanket.

What is the Bair Hugger?

The Bair Hugger is a forced-air warming blanket used to maintain a patient’s body temperature during surgery. Manufactured by 3M, the Bair Hugger works by pushing warm air through a flexible hose into a blanket draped over a patient. As the device releases warm air over the patient’s body, it also discharges air under the surgical table.

Disturbing the air near the floor can cause germs and bacteria to become dispersed and recirculated, landing on the patient’s surgical site. Recirculating contaminated air over an open surgical wound can result in an infection in the patient’s hip or knee, such as sepsis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Unfortunately, these infections are very difficult to treat when they occur deep in a patient’s joint.

To find out if you, a friend or family member may be eligible to pursue a Bair Hugger injury claim, call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or contact us online for a free, no obligation case review.

Joint infections and complications

Joint infections can delay recovery from hip or knee replacement surgery and cause further harm or serious complications, including:

  • Additional revision surgeries and longer hospitalization
  • Antibiotic-resistant infections, such as MRSA
  • Hip implant infection
  • Knee implant infection
  • Joint implant removal (explant) and revision
  • 3rd-degree burns
  • Surgery to place an antibiotic spacer in the infected joint
  • Surgery to remove necrotic (dead) tissue
  • Amputation

Bair Hugger inventor warns about risks

In 2010, The New York Times published an article, in which the inventor of the Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket raised serious concerns over the use of his invention. Entitled, “Doctor Says A Device He Invented Poses Risks,” the article reports that Dr. Scott Augustine has acknowledged that his forced-air warming device promotes the spread of bacteria associated with hospital-acquired infections.

Did Bair Hugger cause my post-operative infection?

Most patients are not likely to know if they were exposed to a potential risk during hip or knee replacement surgery. An experienced product liability attorney can help discover which devices were used during your surgery and if you are entitled to financial compensation.

Bair Hugger Lawyers

If you or a loved one underwent joint replacement surgery and developed a serious infection within 6-12 months of the procedure, get in touch with us today. Elk & Elk is providing free consultations to help patients determine whether the 3M Bair Hugger system was used during their surgeries and whether they are eligible to file a claim.

Time limits may apply and vary depending upon the facts of each potential case. Act now to learn how the attorneys at Elk & Elk can help you get fair compensation for your injuries.


Albrecht M, Gauthier R, Leaper D. Forced-air warming: a source of airborne contamination in the operating room? Orthop Rev (Pavia) 2009;1:e28.

McGovern P.D., Reed M.R., et al, Forced-air warming and ultra-clean ventilation do not mix. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2011 Nov;93(11): 1537-44

Meier, Barry. “Doctor Says a Device He Invented Poses Risks.” The New York Times. December 24, 2010.

Trademark Notice

Bair Hugger is a registered trademark of 3M Inc., St Paul, MN and is used solely for product identification and information purposes.