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Design Flaw Could Keep Bair Hugger Warming Blankets From Fully Inflating

3M has voluntarily recalled more than 33,000 cases of underbody warming blankets.

Published: February 15, 2018

POOR WARMING 3M says a design flaw in certain Bair Hugger underbody warming blankets may prevent it from inflating fully.

Better check your supply of Bair Hugger warming blankets. 3M has voluntarily recalled more than 33,000 cases of underbody warming blankets due to a design flaw in the blanket that may keep them from fully inflating and thus not fully warming patients, says the FDA.

The recall affects 33,108 cases of full access underbody warming blanket models 63500 and 63700 — lot numbers R10359 through R10366. There are 5 blankets to a case. A design change can make these blankets more susceptible to unintended airflow blockage, resulting in limited or partial inflation during use, according to an FDA alert.

"If blankets are only partially inflated during surgery, the potential exists for incomplete warming therapy to be given to a patient," 3M Deutschland GmbH wrote in a field safety notice.

The recall isn't connected to more than 4,000 lawsuits filed by patients who claim the Bair Hugger's forced-air warming system caused their surgical site infections. The first of those lawsuits is expected to go to trial this year.

Anna Merriman

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