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Eden Prairie, MN-based Augustine Medical has doubled indemnification coverage to $500,000 for clinicians who properly use its Bair Hugger therapy in conjunction with the Ranger blood/fluid warming system. The original indemnification program was designed to protect clinicians who use Bair Hugger products up to $250,000. The new program provides malpractice indemnification to clinicians for using both the Bair Hugger and Ranger products. Coverage is effective if the products are used properly during surgery, and there is a judgment of malpractice for allowing a patient to become hypothermic.
"We have expanded this program to support those clinicians who practice the standard of care and ensure that every surgical patient is safe and warm. We are absolutely confident that using Bair Hugger blankets in conjunction with the Ranger blood/fluid warming system will maintain normothermia in surgical patients," says Scott Augustine, MD, company founder and CEO.
A growing body of medical literature, including eight outcome studies, demonstrates that maintaining normothermia with forced air warming significantly improves the outcomes of surgical patients. Augustine says maintaining normothermia (a core body temperature of 36° or higher) in surgical patients not only results in significantly better outcomes for patients, but also results in a $2500 to $7000 reduction in per patient hospitalization costs.
Augustine says the company’s decision to expand this program was prompted by recent reference to forced-air warming as the de facto "community standard of care" for U.S. surgical patients. In addition, the increasing body of literature documenting the benefits of maintaining normothermia has brought more attention to the negative outcomes associated with hypothermia. He notes that the issue can be directly related to malpractice risk for physicians. "Perioperative hypothermia can be used as a cause of legal action against clinicians. Bair Hugger therapy represents the standard of care in maintaining normothermia; therefore, we are willing to indemnify clinicians who use our product."
The Bair Hugger Indemnification Program is available free to all operating room clinicians, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, and nurses who register for the program, use Bair Hugger therapy properly, and follow the conditions and limitations of the policy. For more information or to participate in this program, call Augustine Medical at (800) 733-7775 or visit www.augustinemedical.com.