3M Attempts to Mislead Federal Judge With Erroneous Study Conclusions: Previously published data contradict conclusions of the Jeans study

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In a recent study pre-published online by Jeans et al, the authors conclude that screening for methicillin sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and treating those that test positive before surgery significantly reduces periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) rates.

However, McGovern and Reed previously reported published and unpublished data from one of the three hospitals in the study that directly contradicts the Jeans’ conclusions.  Jeans did not account for the confounding effect caused by the switch from Bair Hugger® forced-air warming (FAW) to HotDog® air-free warming at one of the three hospitals studied.

Overlaying the previously reported data from Wansbeck Hospital on the recent data from all three hospitals, shows that the entire reduction in PJI rates reported by Jeans is accounted for by the massive reduction in PJIs observed at the hospital that switched to air-free warming at nearly the same time.

In fact, recalculating the results of the combined data shows that the PJI rate increased by nearly a full percentage point (0.68% to 1.6%) after initiating the MSSA screening protocol at the two hospitals that did not stop using Bair Hugger and switch to HotDog air-free warming.  This conclusion is diametrically opposite to the author’s conclusions.

3M and their attorneys are well aware of the previously reported published and unpublished data, and their experts certainly should have recognized the inconsistency of these data.  Nonetheless, they submitted these erroneous conclusions to the Federal Judge presiding over their Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) case, asking that based on this new evidence, the entire MDL be dismissed.  They falsely argued that the Jeans data show that the massive reduction in PJI rates shown by McGovern were actually the result of MSSA screening, not due to the discontinuation of forced-air warming and the switch to air-free warming.

Click here for the full analysis (PDF)