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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

MAUDE Adverse Event Report: 3M BAIR HUGGER / 3M

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3M BAIR HUGGER / 3M Back to Search Results
Device Problem Contamination (1120)
Patient Problem Bacterial Infection (1735)
Event Date 04/05/2010
Event Type  Injury  
Event Description
This report concerns injury to (b)(6). On or about (b)(6) 2010, (b)(6) underwent right total hip replacement surgery during which bair hugger was used at (b)(6) medical center, by dr. (b)(6). It is believed that use of bair hugger resulted in a periprosthetic joint infection. The pathogen was staph epidermis. She has undergone antibiotics, antibiotic spacer, revision, or (b)(6), 2011 at (b)(6) medical center by dr. (b)(6). Ms. (b)(6) believes that the infection was caused by contamination of the surgical field by the waste heat of the bair hugger forced-air warming system ("faw") used during her surgery. 3m corporation, the mfr of bair hugger was notified of the injury by litigation (case (b)(6)). 3m has failed to report this injury within the mandatory 30 days. Ms. (b)(6) believes that the approx 1000 watts of waste heat from bair hugger escapes from below the surgical drapes near the floor. It warms the contaminated air resident near the floor and forms into convection currents of rising contaminated warm air. The warm air rises alongside the surgical table, penetrating operating room ventilation airflow and ending up in the surgical field. A cdc committee considering heater-cooler devices recently warned that "nothing that blows air should be in an operating theater, if possible" and "it is important not to blow air in the operating theater. " nine studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals confirmed the contamination. Other studies have shown that the concentration of airborne contaminants above the wound positively correlates with the concentration of contaminants in the wound, and also positively correlates with the periprosthetic joint infection ("pji") rate. This leads to the conclusion that the waste heat from bair hugger must be increasing the risk of pji. One large outcome study has positively linked this rising waste heat to the majority of pjis after total joint replacement surgery. There are no studies showing that bair hugger is safe in implant surgery. Ms. (b)(6) also asserts that 3m has violated the terms of the bair hugger 510 (k). When 510 (k) #12345676 was filed in 2004, the mfr committed to a "hepa" quality inlet filter (99. 97%) or greater filtration efficiency). In fact, the inlet filter of the bair hugger model 505 blower was never hepa and has now been reduced to 62% efficiency without notifying the fda. The result 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 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 hepa filter should be added to the outlet hose of these blowers to prevent the contamination of the operating room with 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 pt warming devices on the market today, no product that increases the risk of a pji should be allowed in orthopedic surgery.
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Brand NameBAIR HUGGER / 3M
Type of DeviceBAIR HUGGER / 3M
Manufacturer (Section D)
MDR Report Key6259998
MDR Text Key65308339
Report NumberMW5067252
Device Sequence Number1
Product Code DWJ
Reporter Country CodeUS
Number of Events Reported1
Summary Report (Y/N)N
Report Source Voluntary
Reporter Occupation Unknown
Type of Report Initial
Report Date 01/13/2017
1 Device was Involved in the Event
1 Patient was Involved in the Event
Date FDA Received01/13/2017
Is this an Adverse Event Report? Yes
Is this a Product Problem Report? No
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: 01/13/2017 Patient Sequence Number: 1