What is a Cold Therapy System? Usually, these are cryo-therapy devices prescribed by orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists after a surgical procedure. Their purpose is to minimize pain and swelling related to the surgery. With a proper prescription, these devices might even be covered by your health insurance.
What happens? Many patients aren’t given proper instructions on how to use the system. As a result, the patient may over-use the system and suffer signficant injuries. There have been several instances of severe nerve damage and skin injuries such as frost bite. These types of injuries can be devastating, especially on the heels of surgery.
Who manufactures these systems? The three principal manufacturers are EB Ice, Breg Polar Care, and Donjoy Iceman. However, there are others. The prices range between approximately $46 and $300, but their products lack adequate warnings and instructions. In fact, Breg Polar Care was involved in a Class A Recall from the FDA. The reason for the recall:
This Patient Safety Advisory was initiated to remind users of the risk of cold induced injuries and recommend important safety precautions for BREG Polar Care products.
In 2006, a case was tried in California over this issue and resulted in a $4.1 million verdict. Several cases have been resolved for significant damages before trial, but during the lawsuit or litigation.
If you have been prescribed one of these medical devices, be careful. Talk to your doctor. Make sure you understand how to use this equipment before you suffer a similar fate.