There has been some false information and harmful rumors being spread around regarding the Bair Hugger Warming System and Dr. Michelle Stevens the Chief Medical Officer for 3M Infection Prevention Division, wants to set the record straight in the video “Straight Talk about 3M™ Bair Hugger™ Warming Therapy”. The facts are online also. Dr. Stevens has been a practicing physician for almost two decades and has been an expert advisor to hospitals and other medical professionals on the issue of preventing infection. In the video she examines the Bair Hugger System and the multitudes of benefits that is provided to patients before, during and after surgery and dismisses any negative information surrounding the system.
Anyone who has preformed surgery in an operating room knows that keeping the temperature cool in the room and anesthesia can cause the body to cool very quickly. The operating room staff understands that during surgery because a patient’s body can lose body heat very quickly there are many types of potential complications that can occur during or maybe after surgery. Certain complications like infection, heart problems, or blood transfusions that would otherwise not be needed, could happen once the body’s core temperature drops. These types of complications can lead to longer stays in the hospital and higher death rates.
Dr. Stevens says that the solution to these potential complications is Bair Hugger Warming Therapy. The system is beneficial for patients to help keep their body temperature normal during surgery. She says that, “Study, after study, after study has shown that actively warming patients can prevent heat loss and reduce the risk of complications.” Bottom line, 3M’s Bair Hugger blankets and gowns keep people warm during surgery thus preventing potential complications.
How the gown and blankets work is very simple. The gown or blanket is placed on top of the patient and warm air is circulated through it and that warmth helps keep the patient’s body temperature at a normal level. Over the course of 30 years Bair Hugger blanket has been used over 200 million times. Due to the success of the system, 3M acquired the system in 2010 and continues to back the effectiveness of this system today. 3M also continues to invest and research in the field of patient warming because they are driven by the wants and needs of their patients. Both doctors and hospitals around the world have given positive feedback to 3M about the effectiveness of the Bair Hugger.
In spite of the positive feedback and the studies that have consistently proven that Bair Hugger has helped the health of patients worldwide, a competitor has been trying to scare people about the Bair Hugger. This particular individual claims that using the Bair Hugger Blankets can lead to infections and has focused on using scare tactics to frighten people undergoing hip or knee replacements. Due to these assertions, 3M has taken the time to look into these claims by consulting with top specialists in the field who Dr. Stevens has a very high regard for concerning this issue. After extensive research and consulting with these top experts, 3M is positive there is no base to these claims. Unfortunately, a few plaintiff lawyers have gotten wind of these false claims and have convinced some patients to sue 3M for infections that they may have contracted during or after surgery. To date, there has been no connection made between the Bair Hugger and infections during or after surgery. 3M is confident that the Bair Hugger system has not cause harm to anyone. Dr. Stevens wants to assure current and future patients that the system is safe.
Dr. Michelle Stevens concludes the video by saying, “There is overwhelming evidence that the use of Bair Hugger Warming Therapy is associated with improved surgical outcomes” This is why leading health care organizations worldwide continue to use Bair Hugger and recommend that it be used in surgery. She encourages anyone with any questions to contact their healthcare provider or to contact 3M directly.
Overview of Bair Hugger:
Bair Hugger is a warming system used by hospitals to moderate body temperature before, after, and during surgery. Introduced for use in 1988, and developed by Dr. S. Augustine, the Bair Hugger has been used by most major hospitals across the United States. The Bair Hugger system has been used over 200 million times since its invention and continues to grow and be used by medical providers across the globe. The system is used in over 80% of U.S. hospitals today.
Bair Hugger’s are made out of soft and comfortable material to lay across the patient and evenly distribute heat across the patient’s body. Bair Huggers are used to keep patients safe and assist in the different stages of surgery. Bair Huggers blankets warming units’ filter air, then force warm air through the Bair Hugger blankets. These blankets are disposable. The warm air is dispersed evenly throughout the blanket to keep the patient warm. Medical providers know the importance of patient warming technology, and have counted on the Bair Hugger to assist patients in medical related procedures for over 20 years.
Health Care providers speak highly of the Bair Huggers purpose in the medical field:
“We use Bair Hugger therapy for every case, every day. This included 600 pediatric urology cases in 2011. This product has allowed us to keep our pediatric patients normothermia (normal body temperature) even though we keep our rooms cool.” – Gregg P., New Brunswick, NJ
“We love Bair Hugger products in our OR. Knowing the patient is normothermic (normal body temperature) and comfortable frees the nurse to implement other safety measures and utilize their time wisely.” – Kristina J., Findlay, OH
“We do 30-50 cases a day, and we use Bair Hugger therapy for our patients. The patients like them, and as the manager of the pre-op and PACU (recovery room), I feel Bair Hugger [therapy] is a reliable product.” – Shane S., Clackamas, OR
As seen above, the Bair Hugger is appreciated by multiple parties who work to keep patient comfort and safety a priority. From nurses, to pediatrics, to cardiac care, a wide range of health providers rely on these blankets to ensure good patient outcomes. The Bair Hugger, primarily and traditionally used in a hospital setting, has also been used in emergency situations to save lives. It has been used in the Trauma Ward for U.S. soldiers in Iraq, warming runners at the Boston Marathon who needed medical treatment, treating a hypothermic man after a car accident, and many more instances. This warming system has saved countless lives.
The Bair Hugger is a trusted and widely used practice. Since 1988 it has been improving the quality of care that patients receive and hospitals are able to provide. Moderating body temperature is of upmost importance before, after, and during surgery. This method will continue to be used by health care providers around the globe to ensure positive patient outcomes. Safe and tested technology like the Bair Hugger will continue to better the future of health care. The Bair Hugger has made its mark in the health care sector as a safe and trusted way to help patients.
Below you’ll find a short video about Bair Hugger hosted by Michelle Stevens, the chief medical officer of 3M’s Infection Prevention Division:
Overview of Bair Hugger
The 3M Bair Hugger Warming System is a convective temperature management system used within hospital to maintain a patient’s core body temperature pre, during, and post a surgical procedure. The Bair Hugger system consists of a reusable warming unit and a single-use disposable warming blankets, gowns, and other technologies. This medical device launched in 1987 and is currently manufactured by the 3M Company. The Bair Hugger warming system is used by more than 80 percent of U.S. hospitals and is considered the gold standard of warming systems used in hospitals today.
Forced Air Warming Basics
The Bair Hugger warming system draws in the filtered air of the operating room, passes it through an internal filter and warms that air to the selected temperature. The warmed air flows to a single-use Bair Hugger warming blanket through an enclosed hose and is then gently dispersed across the surface of the skin. All surgeries include an element of risk, especially surgical site infections. Anesthesia can change the body temperature, and doctors take this into account when thinking about patient care. If body temperature is not closely monitored, a surgery can quickly take a turn for the worst. As a solution to this common issue, hospitals and surgical centers often use warming technology to warm the patient, to maintain normal body temperature throughout surgery. This method of body regulation is popular among hospitals and doctors because of its low cost, effectiveness, and safety. This method of surgical warming is heavily studied and monitored and has said that is can improve overall patient outcome and patient comfort.
Hypothermia Risk and Prevention
Surgery is a complicated process, and unintended hypothermia adds one more factor to the equation. Unintended hyperthermia is a common but preventable aspect to surgery and occurs in 50% of all surgical patients. Even mild hypothermia can cause a post surgical crisis. Patient temperature management often is a secondary thought instead of a required standard. It is also a significant financial benefit of reducing hypothermia rates in surgical patients. Studies have demonstrated that maintaining normothermia can result in savings of $2,500 to $7,000 per patient by eliminating the costs of hypothermia-related complications, including surgical site infections.
Patient satisfaction has come to the forefront of healthcare in the recent years. Patients now have more say over who treats them, how they want to be treated, and where they want to be treated. This has put a new pressure on hospitals to accommodate these patient requests and expectations. A happy customer is likely to return to the service where they had a positive experience. One way that patients can be satisfied with their hospital stay is by being comfortable. With Bair Hugger warming technology, caregivers can replace standard hospital gowns with a forced-air warming gown can boost patient satisfaction and comfort. It has also been found that forced-air warming can reduce patient anxiety. For a patient, surgery can bring a lot of anxiety, no matter how prepared you are or how much homework and investigation you did on your particular surgery, you are still placing your trust in the caregivers and experts around you. Reducing patient anxiety is correlated with fewer interventions, a quality experience, and in some cases requiring less anesthesia. With Bair hugger blankets to regulate body temperature, patients can expect a reduction in the rate of infection, and shorter hospital stays. According to 3M Bair Hugger Technology, “Whenever our customers and their patients see the Bair Hugger brand’s modernized, symbolic icon, we want them to understand that one of the most passionate, patient-focused organizations in the world stands with them to support successful surgical outcomes.”
Gowns and Blankets
The Bair Hugger warming gown system has added a new level of comfort to patient care. While the gown creates a sense of comfort and warmth, it is also performing the important job of safeguarding against the complications and risk that come with unintended hypothermia. Hospital gowns can feel clinical and cold, so a warming gown is just a small but impactful tool used to increase both patient recovery and comfort. While hospitals exist to heal people, it can become a positive experience if a certain level of ease and comfort is achieved.
When you’re recovering after surgery, it’s nice to be warm, but it’s more important that your doctors and caregivers can regulate your body temperature It’s vital to watch when patients are undergoing complex surgical procedures. That’s why 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket system has connected ideas and inspiration, people and products, to make sure these needs are met. The Bair Hugger system has demonstrated, flexible temperature management solutions designed to help you achieve your patient normothermia goals without compromising surgical access. From pediatric to geriatric, simple to challenging. We’ve got you covered. Bair Hugger blanket warming system offers 25 blanket models.
Why is Normothermia so Significant?
The maintenance of a normal core body temperature, called normothermia, is a critical component of patient safety. Core temperatures outside the normal range pose a risk in all patients undergoing surgery and have been associated with an increased risk of surgical complications, including surgical site infections. The difference between a positive patient outcome and a complicated recovery can be a matter of degrees. Unintended perioperative hypothermia is a frequent, yet preventable, complication of surgery. It can increase the rate of wound infection, extend recovery time, and extend the length of stay. The 3M Bair Hugger normothermia system provides a comprehensive solution that works seamlessly throughout the perioperative process to effectively and efficiently measure and manage patient temperature. Medical devices are no longer products you sell to doctors or nurses based on popularity or likeability. They are tools that must contribute to better outcomes while providing an economic benefit worthy of investment. Bair Hugger blankets provide the kind of outcomes providers are hoping for at a price that is reasonable. The patient warming industry is just small piece to the healthcare environment.
Bair Hugger Safety
The 3M Bair Hugger Patient Warming System is safe to use in orthopedic and other procedures. The FDA cleared this technology to treat and prevent hypothermia more than 25 years ago. 3M has built its reputation as a credible, science-based company by making products customers can rely upon. 3M Health Care earns the trust of healthcare providers every day by making products for patients that are safe, effective and improve the quality of care. 3M would not continue to sell a product if there was a reason to believe it harmed patients or providers.
Bair hugger warming units are a reasonable size, not difficult to operate and are not heavy. These qualities give them an easy and no obtrusive status in the surgery room. Bair Hugger have different ways to mount in patient rooms and allow each facility to use them in a way that makes sense. Patients come in all shapes and sizes, and Bair hugger gowns and warming technology are made to accommodate the wide range of patients that hospitals and care facilities see. Bair Hugger has even added features like adhesive strips, head drapes, drain holes, and tie strings to gowns for patient comfort and recovery ease. Many of these additions were included in products because Bair Hugger values its customer’s opinions and feedback, always looking for ways to improve the patient experience and satisfaction. The Bair Hugger temperature monitoring system is the most recent technology platform to join the portfolio, and it’s an important one. This product offers an accurate, not invasive way to measure and account for body temperature before surgery, in the operation room, and the PACU, getting rid of the need for multiple temperature reading products. It streamlines the process and doesn’t give too much variation in data that practitioners were seeing when using multiple machines.
Operation Room Air Flow Study
Any good and trustworthy product can prove its effectiveness and safety, and Bair Hugger did that by testing the operation room flow air study, proving the warming equipment was not negatively impacts or affecting the outcomes of surgery. A scientific research project was conducted to test this question. In the end, the facts and outcomes concluded the that Bair Hugger Warming System did not disrupt the normal airflow patterns of an operating room and did not move air from the floor to the surgical site in hip replacement producers.
The study had three parts that were explored. The first part was investigation advanced mathematical calculation based upon the fundamental laws of physics to track the pats of airflow in the operating room. The findings showed that the air from the Bair Hugger System avoided the sensitive surgical site. The air from the warming system was traveling away from the surgical table and moved towards the room exhaust vents along with the air beneath the operating table and did not move towards the surgical site.
The second part of the study involved experiments performed in an operating room with flow visualization studies that deliberately injected visible fog into multiple locations in the room. First behind the anesthesia screen where the Bair Hugger air would exit near the patient’s head. Second, underneath the surgical table. And third, next to the surgical table, near the surgical team, and near the surgical site. This investigation found that downward clean moving air from ceiling supply ducts in an operating room inhibited air from other sources from intruding into the surgical region. The downward flow of clean air worked regardless of whether the Bair Hugger Warming System was used or not.
The last section of the investigation included a review of the scientific literature. The best scientific work did not show any causal link between the use of a Bair Hugger Warming System and surgical site infections. More than 170 clinical studies have utilized the Bair Hugger system, and studies have demonstrated forced-air warming’s usefulness.
The 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket system is the most used and studied method of surgical warming in the country, with its clinical benefits, efficacy, and safety well documented in more than 170 studies and more than 60 randomized controlled clinical trials.
Did you know the Bair Hugger warming blanket system is the preferred patient warming device of U.S. healthcare facilities (and 8 of the top 10 orthopedic hospitals1) and is supported by numerous healthcare organizations because of its proven safety and effectiveness? The Bair Hugger warming blanket system has become an indispensable component in the care of surgical patients, providing safe and effective warming therapy to patients across the globe. Next time you are getting surgery and see Bair Hugger warming technology in the room, you can be assured that your team and hospital is giving you the golden standard on patient warming technology. With all different variables and unknowns of surgery, regulating your body temperature shouldn’t be one of them. Caregivers rely on the warming technology of Bair Hugger for patient positive patient outcomes and comfort.