As of late, reports have been circulating about the potential for permanent nerve damage and skin damage resulting from the use of cold therapy – cryotherapy devices such as PolarCare, EBIce, Don Joy. These products are defective and the public should generally be aware of the dangers associated with them. If cold therapy devices are used too long, or at too cold of a temperature, it can result in serious injuries such as nerve damage, chronic pain, or frost bite. With few or no instructions or warnings, patients may be subjecting skin and underlying nerves to unacceptably cold temperatures for extended periods of time. Since cold & ice therapy can desensitize the affected area, serious injuries often occur without the patient’s immediate knowledge. Case studies have documented this injury pattern.
Cold therapy machines and cryotherapy devices prescribed by doctors are essentially small ice coolers which a patient fills with ice and water, and uses with an attached conforming device to chill a certain area of the body. A small motor inside the cooler circulates the chilled water through the plastic bladder that is placed on a patient’s affected area. The circulated ice water super chills the targeted area of the body, usually the feet, knees, ankles and shoulders. While it may dull the pain, it also may numb the area to a point where the patient is unaware of the resulting frostbite and permanent nerve damage. It can have disastrous consequences due to the defective nature of the product and lack of warnings and instructions.
Why Cold Therapy Ice Machines are Defective
Many cold therapy machines are defective in design. Their super cooling capabilities can cause serious crynotherapy frostbite injuries to both the skin and permanent nerve damage to the nerves of the area where the product is applied. The cold therapy machines are defective because there is no regulation of the temperature or how cold the device will make the patient’s skin. There are also very few instructions or warnings provided with the Cold Therapy units dictating how long a patient can super chill a certain area of the body without risking a frostbite type injury. These devices are particularly dangerous, since once an area of a patient’s body is super-chilled, it becomes numb and the patient is unable to feel the frostbite injury occurring, often leading to even greater injury.
Known Cold Therapy Ice Machine Injuries
Often, a patient will awaken from surgery or other forms of treatment, only to find that a Cold Therapy Unit had been applied to them immediately after surgery without their knowledge or understanding. In many of these cases, the Cold Therapy machine had been in place on the patient’s body for several hours even before they awaken, at far too low a temperature setting, thus possibly having already caused serious frostbite and permanent nerve damage injuries. The types of injury resulting from these cryotherapy or cold therapy machines and devices are primarily frostbite. This type of injury is characterized by decreased blood flow and heat delivery to body tissues resulting in disastrous ice crystal formation within the cells of the skin. These skin injuries can be classified as deep or superficial depending on the depth of injury and length of the crynotherapy cold exposure. They can involve the skin, while more serious injuries extend into the muscle and involve the nerves and even bone. These injuries can cause permanent nerve damage and chronic debilitating pain. Case studies have documented this injury pattern.
Poorly designed cold therapy machines can cause permanent skin damage (frost bite), nerve damage, and numerious other serious side effects. Seek immediate medical attention if you are suffering an emergency situation.
Cold therapy lawsuits are being filed by lawyers representing victims injured by these defective products. Cold therapy lawsuits claim that the cold therapy machines were defective in their design by not having adequate safety mechanisms to prevent injury. Cold machine lawsuits also claim these devices fail to adequately warn consumers of the risks involved with extended or prolonged use of their product.
If you or someone you know has been severely injured as a result of cold therapy, ice machines, recirculating ice coolers, cryotherapy or other forms of cold treatment, talk to a Cold Therapy Attorney at the Willis Law Firm in Houston for legal advice about a potential cold therapy lawsuit. Please fill out the Free Case Evaluation at the right or call us toll-free at 1-800-883-9858.