Studies show a significant increase in deep joint infection during periods when forced-air warming was used. A recent study found that forced-air warming contaminates ultra-clean air ventilation.
Between January 2010 and August 2015, the FDA received 32 Medical Device Reports (MDRs) of patient infections associated with heater-cooler devices or bacterial heater-cooler device contamination. Twenty-five of these MDRs were reported to the FDA in 2015.
The FDA wants to heighten awareness about infections associated with these devices and warns of the potential for contaminated water to enter other parts of the device or transmit bacteria through the air through the device’s exhaust vent into the environment and to the patient.
In 2011 it was already widely known that forced air warming was associated with a significant increase in deep joint infection. This is because forced-air warming draws potentially contaminated particles from below the operating table into the surgical site. The logical conclusion is that forced-air warming should not be used; air-free warming should be used for orthopaedic procedures.
Forced-air warming has been shown to increase the amount of particles floating above the surgical site. In fact, one study found 2,000 times more contaminant particles in the air over the wound with forced-air warming than with air-free conductive warming. Airborne bacteria need particles to hitch a ride to cause an infection.
And the number of PJIs have gone up even as ventilation systems, sanitary suits, and personnel movement have been improved.
If you had an infection after surgery, and a Bair Hugger warming blanket was used during the procedure, you could have a claim for money damages. Contact the Dysart Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation.