Bair Hugger Lawsuit

Litigation Against Bair Hugger

The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated thousands of lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who have developed infections and other serious medical complications from 3M’s Bair Hugger surgical warming blanket.

This website is a clearinghouse for publicly available court records, medical studies and the latest updates about the litigation.

Why is the Bair Hugger Unsafe?

The Bair Hugger system is a portable heater/blower that pushes heated air through a flexible hose to a blanket to regulate the body temperature of patients before and during surgery. Heated air from the device is known to escape from the surgical drape and rise – like a hot air balloon – spreading harmful bacteria.  

Numerous medical studies and independent research have documented a significant increase in infection risk for exposure to dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).  According to internal 3M records and sworn testimony from its own experts, 3M has long known about these design flaws and safety risks. 

In addition to the risks of serious infection and medical complications, the costs of these infections and surgeries are high: upwards of $90,000 per infected joint, according to an analysis published in  JAMA Surgery by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017.

0 M

Number of patients who have used the Bair Hugger device since 1987

0 +

Number of units installed in hospitals and operating rooms in the U.S.

$ 0 B+

Global patient warming market value

“There is amazing concern about any particulates in the air during joint replacement surgery and almost uniform comment that [force-air warming] increases particulates in the air.”

Internal 3M Communication

Case Updates

Surgical Blanket Litigation

Thousands of lawsuits filed across the U.S. are consolidated in multidistrict litigation in Minnesota federal court, and trials are ongoing. According to sworn testimony and documents obtained through discovery, 3M has been aware of the safety concerns associated with forced-air warming technology for many years. Instead of warning doctors and medical facilities about the risks, 3M has aggressively marketed the device, which is now in wide use on hospitals and operating facilities through the U.S.

“We can say with certainty that the Bair Hugger is contributing airborne microbes into the air.”

Anesthesiology News

Recent Videos

Use of the Bair Hugger is “largely ineffective” for most joint-replacement; products that have no benefit in surgeries present an “unnecessary risk.”

3M had warned users of the Bair Hugger 200 model but removed the warning label from later models.

Infection risks associated with the Bair Hugger were known as early as 1987.

“Avoid putting things in writing or email!”

Internal 3M Communication

Medical Studies

Medical studies have confirmed that forced-air warming systems like the Bair Hugger increase the risk of serious infections during surgery, including articles published in the 

  • Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
  • Journal of Anesthesia and Surgery
  • Annals of Medicine and Surgery
  • Journal of Hospital Infection
  • Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery. 

For example, a study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery reported a near four-fold increase in infections when devices like the Bair Hugger are used in operating rooms.

Trial Team

See If You Have a Case

Infections that occur during surgery can cause serious medical complications, including septic arthritis. In some cases, a patient may need surgery to remove the implant and the infection. In rare cases, the infection can result in amputation.

If you have experienced medical complications after a surgical procedure in which a Bair Hugger blanket was used, you may be entitled to compensation.

See If You're Eligible for Compensation


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.