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FDA Warns of Injuries Caused by Water-Circulating Hot/Cold Therapy Devices

Lawsuit News from OnderLaw

Hot/cold water therapy devices can cause frostbite, other damage if not used correctly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - An FDA consumer update issued Sept. 9, 2020 warns that, when not used properly, water-circulating hot and cold therapy devices have the potential to cause injuries, particularly cold-induced injuries.

Many consumers use the devices, which circulate hot and cold water, following injury or surgery to ease swelling, pain, or inflammation. However, if not used properly, these devices can cause pain and injury. The most serious injuries have been caused by the devices' cold therapy function, including numbness and frostbite. In extreme cases, the FDA warns, these injuries can require skin grafts and amputation.

What is a water-circulating hot and cold therapy device?

Water-circulating hot and cold therapy devices circulate cold or both hot and cold water through a tube and into a wrap. Some such devices also offer compression. The wrap is often applied around a joint (such as a knee or shoulder) or other part of the body that is being treated as part of a physician-prescribed therapy program.

Water-circulating hot and cold therapy devices differ from cold packs because these therapy devices remain very cold for a prolonged period of time. Prolonged cold can cause injury if not monitored properly.

How do I Safely Use Hot/Cold Water Devices?

Your physician can provide the direction you need to properly use a hot and cold water circulating therapy device. Be sure to discuss:

- Any circulation issues or problems with inability to feel sensations on the skin.

- Whether you will need hot, cold, or compression therapy, or any combination.

- How often and how long you should use this type of therapy.

- How long you should wait in between therapy cycles.

- When you should discontinue your treatment plan.

While using the device, you should:

- Do not allow the wrap to come into direct contact with your skin. Use a piece of cloth or a bandage to form a barrier between the device wrap and your skin.

- Be sure the wrap is not so tight that it cuts off circulation.

- Check skin beneath the wrap frequently to ensure it is kept dry.

- Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience numbness, burning, itching, unexpected pain, blisters or welts, redness or discoloration, increased swelling, or a change in the appearance of your skin.

Did You Experience a Serious Problem with a Hot/Cold Water Circulation Device?

If you have experienced a severe problem with a hot/cold water therapy device, contact the attorneys at OnderLaw. We hold companies accountable to ensuring that medical devices of all kinds are safe for the people who use them.

Injured? Let us help. Call 314-963-9000 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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