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ARIZANT/3M BAIR HUGGER Back to Search Results
Device Problems Contamination (1120); Use of Device Problem (1670); Infusion or Flow Problem (2964)
Patient Problems Bacterial Infection (1735); Staphylococcus Aureus (2058); Disability (2371); Post Operative Wound Infection (2446)
Event Date 09/29/2010
Event Type  Injury  
Event Description
This report is submitted regarding injury to (b)(6). Mr. (b)(6) underwent surgery on (b)(6) 2010 at the (b)(6) for the purpose of receiving a right total knee arthroplasty. The prosthesis got infected during surgery with (b)(6). The infection led to additional surgeries, including one for removal of the infected prosthesis. Mr. (b)(6) survived, but is now permanently disabled. Mr. (b)(6), his experts, and lawyers believe that the infection was caused by contamination of the sterile surgical field by the waste heat of the bair hugger forced-air warming system ("faw") used during his surgery. The 3m corporation, the manufacturer of bair hugger faw was notified in writing of the injury by litigation ((b)(4) 2014). Fda guidance dated 07/09/2013 provides that such legal documents constitute a "complaint" requiring the manufacturer to report to the fda, as follows?: "2. 11 where will device-related complaints come from? you may receive complaint information from many different sources including telephone calls or other verbal communication, fax transmissions, written correspondence, sales representative reports, service representative reports, scientific articles (literature), internal analyses, and legal documents. " the 3m has failed to report this injury within the mandatory 30 days. Mr. (b)(4) and his lawyers assert that the approximately 1000 watts of waste heat from bair hugger faw escapes from below the surgical drapes near the floor. From there, it warms the contaminated air normally resident near the floor and forms into convection currents of rising contaminated warm air. The warm air rises alongside the surgical table, easily penetrating operating room ventilation airflow and ending up in the sterile surgical field. This phenomenon has been proven in at least six studies published in top-tier, peer-reviewed medical journals. Many other studies have shown that the concentration of contaminates in the wound, and also positively correlates with the periprosthetic joint infection ("pji") rate. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that the waste heat from bair hugger faw must be increasing the risk of pji. At least one large outcome study has positively linked this rising waste faw heat to the majority of pjis after total joint replacement surgery. In contrast, there are no outcome studies showing that bair hugger faw is safe in implant surgery. In a separate issue, mr. (b)(6) asserts that 3m has willfully violated the terms of the bair hugger 510(k). When 510(k) #12345676 was filed in 2004, the manufacturer committed to a "(b)(4)" quality inlet filter (99. 97 percent or greater filtration efficiency). In fact, the inlet filter of the bair hugger model 505 blower was never (b)(4) and has now been reduced to 62 percent efficiency without notifying the fda. The result of the poor inlet filtration is that the internal airflow pathways of nearly all bair hugger blowers and hoses are contaminated with growing bacterial colonies. This has been shown in three studies published in top-tier, peer-reviewed medical journals. The high-velocity airflow over the bacterial colonies has been shown to aerosolize bacteria out of the hose and into the operating room air. Since it is impossible to disinfect the internal airflow pathway of the bair hugger 505 blower, a (b)(4) filter should be added to the outlet hose of these blowers to prevent operating room contamination from the bacteria growing inside the blower and hose. Given the catastrophic nature of pjis, it is only prudent for the fda to err on the side of caution. Considering that there are several air-free and waste heat-free patient warming devices on the market today, any product that increases the risk of a pji should not be allowed in orthopedic surgery.
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Type of DeviceBAIR HUGGER
Manufacturer (Section D)
MDR Report Key5428036
MDR Text Key38082415
Report NumberMW5060094
Device Sequence Number1
Product Code DWJ
Reporter Country CodeUS
Number of Events Reported1
Summary Report (Y/N)N
Report Source Voluntary
Reporter Occupation Other
Type of Report Initial
Report Date 02/05/2016
1 Device was Involved in the Event
1 Patient was Involved in the Event
Date FDA Received02/05/2016
Is this an Adverse Event Report? Yes
Is this a Product Problem Report? Yes
Device Operator
Was Device Available for Evaluation? No Answer Provided
Is the Reporter a Health Professional? No Answer provided
Was the Report Sent to FDA?
Event Location No Information
Was Device Evaluated by Manufacturer? No Answer Provided
Is the Device Single Use? No Answer Provided
Is This a Reprocessed and Reused Single-Use Device?
Type of Device Usage

Patient Treatment Data
Date Received: 02/05/2016 Patient Sequence Number: 1