Also known as cold therapy, cryotherapy is the term used to describe a method to treat certain injuries and to help with the recovery process following certain surgical procedures. This method works by destroying abnormal tissues and cells via an ice pack or device. In the past, people would use ice packs to reduce swelling and help with the healing process. Today, there are actual devices designed to make the process easier.
These devices, called cold therapy devices, work by filtering ice cold water from a chest through a tube into a pad that can be applied on the affected area. These devices are designed to keep cold longer and to administer a more even treatment.
The following three cold therapy devices are manufactured in the U.S.:
- EBIce Cold Therapy System®
- Donjoy Iceman®
- Breg Polar Care®
These devices, however helpful, have been linked to potential injuries. When a patient applies the cold pad to the injured area, the process works by freezing the affected tissue and reducing blood flow. When the device is removed, it is the actual thawing process that kills the abnormal cells. When used correctly (for a specific amount of time), the healthy cells are not affected.
When patients apply cold therapy for too long, they are in danger of damaging the healthy tissues and cells in the surrounding area. The effects are excruciating and can result in life-long damage to the skin and tissue.
If you are using a cold therapy device but are unsure of how long you should be applying the pad, contact your doctor for instruction. If you begin to experience numbness, tingling, burning or pain in the affected area, stop using the device and contact your doctor immediately.
Cryotherapy Device Lawsuits
Some patients have complained that they were not instructed on how long to use the cold therapy device prescribed by their doctor. As a result, they suffered injuries from prolonged use. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from using the EBIce Cold Therapy System®, the Donjoy Iceman® or the Breg Polar Care®, you may qualify to seek compensation for your losses via a cryotherapy lawsuit.