The Bair Hugger Normothermia System is a forced-air warming, or FAW, system designed to prevent hypothermia and keep patients at a normal core body temperature during all three phases of orthopedic surgery — preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative.
Hospitals have used Bair Hugger devices on more than 200 million patients since 1987 and continue to do so today. More than 50,000 units are installed in the 80 percent of hospitals in the U.S. that use FAW therapy.
The warming blankets stabilize core temperature ahead of surgery, then maintain it during the procedure and immediately afterward as the patient recovers.
The current Bair Hugger warming units include models 505, 750 and 775. Model 500 is no longer in production. 3M, the company that manufactures the devices, also makes disposable Bair Hugger blankets and gowns.
How Bair Hugger Therapy Works
Bair Hugger warming units filter air and then force warm air through Bair Hugger disposable blankets, which cover patients before, during and after surgery. Bair Hugger blankets are designed to use pressure points on the patient’s body to prevent heat from reaching areas at risk for pressure sores or burns. The blankets also include drain holes where fluid passes through the surface of the blanket to linen underneath, which is supposed to reduce the risk of skin softening and reduce the risk of unintended cooling because of heat loss from evaporation.