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Degloving Injuries

Degloving injuries occur when skin or tissue is torn off the body much like when a glove is peeled off a hand. This is a catastrophic injury which can occur to various part of the body. It is an avulsion injury meaning the tissue and skin are forcibly detached or torn away. Following a degloving injury, a patient may need extensive reconstructive surgery, repair of damaged blood vessels and muscles via surgical intervention, rehabilitation, and other substantial medical care. Complications following a degloving injury include infection and necrosis.

How does degloving happen?

In personal injury cases, a degloving injury usually occurs after a

  • Pedestrian knockdown motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle accidents where a tire runs over a pedestrian leading to a degloving injury to an arm, leg, or other part of the body.
  • Industrial or machinery accidents where a roller, conveyor belt, or press machine injures an individual. Another common degloving scenario occurs when a piece of jewelry catches on a machine tearing skin off a finger or hand.

Treatment for degloving

Treatment for Degloving injuries includes major surgery including revascularization which is restoration of blood flow to a damaged area. See Another type of surgery following degloving injury is replantation which involves reaffixing a detached body part such as a finger. Skin graft surgery is often performed using skin from the thigh, abdomen, or groin to be grafted to the damaged area so that the skin at the injury site heals. Another common surgery following degloving injury is amputation of a body part that cannot be replanted or otherwise saved.

Consequences of a degloving injury

  • Complete or partial loss of limbs and or digits
  • Paralysis or decreased range of motion; loss of full movement
  • Pain & suffering in the area of impact/ injury
  • Infection
  • Emotional distress and injuries
  • Loss of sensation; complete or partial
  • Avulsion of the skin and tissues under the skin
  • Loss of body’s ability to regulate simple functions: hemodynamic instability

Types of recovery from a degloving lawsuit

  • Loss of wages past & future; related economic damages such as value of household services
  • Past & Future medical expenses including surgery, physical therapy, cost of prescriptions, etc
  • Past & Future pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional Distress
  • And other types of damages

Four types of degloving injuries

  • Avulsion (the action of pulling or tearing away)
  • Single plane degloving where the injury occurs on one surface of the skin
  • multi plane degloving where the injury occurs on multiple surfaces of the skin
  • Morel-Lavallee lesions: a closed degloving internal bodily injury which occurs due to disruption of capillaries and shearing forces in the subcutaneous tissue (may happen after a run over accident with a car)

Our attorneys can help

We prepare each case meticulously to obtain the highest possible recovery at trial. We work with experts to establish liability and damages. In degloving injury matters, we work with top surgeons, emergency room doctors, dermatologists, and other specialists to diagnose and treat our client’s injury and to provide medical evidence of the full extent of their damages at a jury trial.