WHAT ARE COLD THERAPY DEVICES?
Cold therapy (sometimes referred to as “cryo therapy”) devices are used to minimize swelling resulting from surgery. They work by cooling the inflamed or swollen area of the body. After filling the device (which resembles a cooler) with ice water, a cooling pad is placed on the affected body part. A circulating pump inside the cold therapy device continually circulates ice water to the cooling pad through connecting tubes. This helps keep the pad ice-cold for extended periods of time.
WHY ARE COLD THERAPY DEVICES PRESCRIBED BY DOCTORS?
Doctors usually prescribe cold therapy devices to patients following surgery or serious injury, but the devices come with very little instruction (or none at all) about recommended temperatures or length of treatment and lack a shut-off or alarm mechanism that would prevent the device from running too long or too cold.
WHY ARE COLD THERAPY DEVICES CAUSING INJURIES?
Many people using the device are told something along the lines of, “The colder the pad and the longer you can keep it on your skin, the better.” Because of existing nerve damage or desensitization from the surgery or injury, patients may not feel how cold the pad is on their skin. Nerve and skin damage can then occur. Damage also can occur in people who use the product as recommended.
WHAT KIND OF INJURIES CAN BE CAUSED BY COLD THERAPY DEVICES?
Cold therapy patients have suffered severe injuries to the ankles, feet, wrists, hands, shoulders, and knees.
Injuries typically fall into two different categories:
- Nerve damage: objective tests, such as the electromyelogram (EMG) test, can be performed to confirm damage in absence of visible injury.
- Nerve and skin damage: skin damage will have visible injuries, such as frostbite.
Cold therapy nerve and skin damage injuries can result at above freezing temperatures. Some victims have reported damage after using cold therapy devices in the 45-55 degree range.
If you’ve suffered personal injuries after using a cold therapy device, contact the defective product lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law immediately. We’re here to help. Fill out a FREE initial consultation form or call (800) 444-5000. Our team of experienced lawyers always fights to win. Contact us today!