Cold therapy machines are supposed to ease pain and swelling after joint surgery. Unfortunately, prolonged use of cold therapy machines (also known as “ice therapy” or “cryotherapy”) is associated with a serious risk of permanent nerve damage, skin necrosis, frostbite, additional surgery, amputation, and permanent disability.

FDA Warning: Whole-Body Cryotherapy Not Safe or Effective

July 5, 2016 — The FDA has issued a Consumer Update to warn that whole-body cryotherapy poses serious risks and it is not proven to work. Click here to read more.

November 6, 2015 — One week after a Las Vegas spa worker died in a whole-body cryotherapy machine, state officials have opened an investigation into workplace safety and health concerns about the technology itself. Click here to read more.

What is a Cold Therapy Machine?

Cold therapy machines (also known as “ice therapy” or “cryotherapy”) are medical devices that deliver ice-cold water from an insulated cooler to a compression pad, which is placed around an injured body part. The machines are marketed to patients as a way to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling in the joints, usually after orthopedic surgery in the arm, shoulder, knee, leg, ankle, or foot.

Types of Cold Therapy or Ice Therapy Machines

Some types of cold therapy machines include:

  • BREG Polar Care, manufactured by Breg Inc.
  • Game Ready, manufactured by Coolsystems Inc.
  • DonJoy Iceman, manufactured by DJO
  • Cryo/Cuff Cold Therapy Unit, manufactured by Aircase
  • Cold Therapy Unit, manufactured by DeRoyal
  • Cold Therapy System, manufactured by EB Ice
  • Cold Control and bMini, manufactured by Bledsoe
  • And more

Problems with Cold Therapy Machines Include Skin and Nerve Damage

Cold therapy machines expose injured body parts to hours of freezing-cold temperatures through a compression pad applied directly on the skin. The compression pad restricts blood-flow and circulation to the injured area, which reduces pain by deadening nerves. This distracts the patient’s mind away from the pain of the injury.

Unfortunately, nerve desensitization due to cold therapy or the injury itself may cause a patient to fail to remove the pad when it gets too cold. Severe nerve and skin damage, frostbite, skin necrosis, and other serious injuries can occur.

Cold therapy is a “do-it-yourself” treatment that lacks adequate instructions and warnings about the risk of permanent skin and nerve damage from cryotherapy. Furthermore, the machines lack alarms or automatic shut-off switches for when the device gets too cold.

Types of Cold Therapy Machine Injuries

Cold therapy machines have been associated with some severely debilitating injuries, which can occur above freezing temperatures. These injuries include:

  • Skin Necrosis
  • Frostbite
  • Nerve damage
  • Tissue damage
  • Infection
  • Skin grafts
  • Permanent pain, numbness, tingling, sensitivity.
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Need for additional surgery
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Limb amputation

Cold Therapy Lawsuit

The Product Liability & Defective Medical Device Litigation Team at our law firm is concerned about the lack of warnings about the dangers of cold therapy, ice therapy machines, and cryotherapy. We are also concerned that these products have not been recalled, despite the growing number of people who have been severely, permanently injured.

Your cold therapy lawsuit could be compensated for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Lost income or employment
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Punitive damages against the manufacturer
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