Dr. Michelle Stevens, Chief Medical Officer of 3M’s Infection Prevention Division, discusses the benefits of keeping surgical patients warm by using the Bair Hugger Surgical Warming System. Dr. Stevens also strongly disputes claims by a competitor – and some plaintiff attorneys – that the Bair Hugger system has caused infections in surgical patients.


LONG VERSION - VIDEO LENGTH=13:56

SHORT VERSION - VIDEO LENGTH=2:26

3M™ Bair Hugger™ Patient Warming System: Operating Room Airflow Visualization study shows that Bair Hugger warming did not disrupt operating room airflow and did not move air from the floor to the surgical field.

This video presents the findings of a study that shows the Bair Hugger Warming System did not disrupt clean operating room airflow patterns.  By using a megasonic fog generator, researchers John P. Abraham, Ph.D., Professor of Thermal Sciences at the University of St. Thomas, and Jennifer A. Wagner, Ph.D., Prism Environmental Health and Safety Solutions, visualized operating room airflow patterns during a simulated hip replacement surgery both with and without warming from the Bair Hugger system.  The megasonic fog generator emitted visible water vapor, which rode the airflow currents, thereby permitting visualization of the operating room airflow patterns.  The downward flow of clean air – a common operating room feature – worked both with and without heat from the Bair Hugger warming system.  In other words, the airflow patterns in the operating room looked the same both with and without heat from the Bair Hugger warming system.  These findings confirm the results of a separate computational fluid dynamics study performed by Dr. Abraham, which is shown in a separate video.  Both studies rebut claims from a competitor and a group of plaintiff attorneys that the warming system causes or increases the risk of surgical site infections by disrupting clean operating room airflow.  Rather, in both studies, the Bair Hugger Patient Warming System did not disrupt clean operating room airflow and did not move air from the floor to the surgical site.


LONG VERSION - VIDEO LENGTH=13:17

SHORT VERSION - Length=6:21

3M™ Bair Hugger™ Patient Warming System: Computational Fluid Dynamics study shows that Bair Hugger warming did not disrupt operating room airflow or move air from floor to surgical field.

This video presents the findings of a scientific research project that shows the Bair Hugger Patient Warming System did not disrupt clean operating room airflow during a simulated hip replacement procedure.  Using advanced mathematical calculations based upon the fundamental laws of physics, John P. Abraham, Ph.D., Professor of Thermal Sciences at the University of St. Thomas, found that air emerging from the Bair Hugger system did not disrupt the downward, clean operating room airflow that originates in the operating room ceiling, and did not move air from the floor to the surgical site.  Dr. Abraham’s findings are confirmed by a separate operating room airflow visualization study, which is shown in a separate video.  Both studies rebut claims from a competitor and a group of plaintiff attorneys that the warming system causes or increases the risk of surgical site infections by disrupting clean operating room airflow.  Rather, in both studies, the Bair Hugger Patient Warming System did not disrupt clean operating room airflow and did not move air from the floor to the surgical site.


Watch this video, which shows the surgical draping process for a simulated hip replacement. The draping process starts by sealing the Bair Hugger warming blanket to the patient’s chest with an adhesive strip so that air cannot escape back toward the surgical site. Next, a cotton blanket is placed over the upper body blanket followed by multiple layers of surgical drapes. Finally, a surgical drape separates the surgical site from the anesthesia team. Any excess air is exhausted near the patient’s neck and shoulders and behind that surgical drape. Despite these and other safeguards, surgical site infections do occur for a variety of reasons. But the Bair Hugger warming blanket is not the cause of them.


This 2012 video discusses the technology behind 3M Bair Hugger Therapy and refutes claims from a competitor that the technology can disrupt air flow and increase the risk of surgical site infections. To date, the Bair Hugger warming system has been used more than 200 million times in surgical settings around the world.