What To Do After Degloving Injuries In Motorcycle Accidents
Many motorcyclists dread degloving accident injuries about as much as fractured bones and minor forms of head trauma. This is because when degloving occurs, the rider’s top skin layers are often ripped free from all the underlying connective tissues, muscles, and bones. In addition, life-threatening blood clots can occur during this process – that can affect any body part covered with skin. In most cases, a motorcycle rider’s legs, unprotected arms, and hands, torso, face (and scalp) can be degloved. Clients who were not wearing thick gloves and sturdy boots sometimes suffer degloving damage to their fingers and feet.
The following material reviews the two main types of degloving accidents and some of the treatments frequently provided to heal these types of injuries. Additional information covers the complications that can develop during or after treatment, as well as the types of motorcycle accidents that often lead to degloving accidents.
- 1. The two most common types of degloving skin injuries
- 2. Treatments are often offered to patients who have suffered degloving injuries
- 3. What kinds of complications can develop due to these treatment procedures?
- 4. Which specific types of Harlem motorcycle accidents most often lead to degloving injuries?
- 5. How physical therapy can often help survivors of motorcycle degloving accidents
- 6. What are some of the long-term challenges that degloving patients may need to face?
- 7. General advice for preventing degloving accidents for all motorcyclists
- 8. Get Legal advice after a motorcycle accident
The two most common types of degloving skin injuries
- Open degloving. This occurs when all the skin and tissue are ripped free, usually exposing muscles, connective tissues, and bone. In some degloving cases, parts of the skin may remain partially attached (as a mere flap) near the wound. This type of degloving often occurs when motorcycles, trucks, and passenger vehicles get involved in catastrophic traffic accidents that cause the rider to be dragged underneath a vehicle.
- Closed degloving. These types of injuries are often less readily visible – which can greatly delay and complicate a proper diagnosis. While a bruise on the skin may be visible, this may often be the only recognizable symptom. Some experts estimate that as many as one-third of individuals who incur closed degloving injuries are forced to wait lengthy periods for a proper diagnosis. Experienced doctors know that closed degloving injuries may often require MRI scans and ultrasound tests for a proper diagnosis. These tools help detect Morel-Lavallee lesions that can fill up with blood, lymph fluid, and fat.
These lesions usually exist within or beneath the lowest levels of skin damaged by degloving. Infections are common with closed degloving injuries, often mandating careful monitoring of every treatment provided.
Motorcyclists who have suffered any type of degloving injury should also remember to always ask their treating physicians if they have suffered serious nerve damage – and how they can address or heal that complicated condition.
Treatments are often offered to patients who have suffered degloving injuries
Open degloving injuries. It should first be noted that some hospitals are not equipped to address many complex skin repair treatments. When this holds true, patients must often be transferred to nearby trauma centers that are more capable of handling these types of wounds. Here are some of the options available when treating open degloving injuries.
- A skin graph can be performed. This normally involves using undamaged skin from other parts of the injured person’s body.
- If enough healthy skin remains, it can be reattached to the injured area.
- In some cases, degloving injuries may make it possible to reattach degloved fingers or toes. However, when the degloving damage is too severe, an amputation of one or more body parts may be necessary.
Unfortunately, many of these procedures may require multiple, painful surgeries. This is one reason why degloving injuries suffered due to someone else’s negligence can lead to large settlement amounts or verdicts. Of course, if a Brooklyn Heights motorcycle rider lucky, his degloving injury may only require a thorough cleaning and proper bandaging for it to heal.
Closed degloving injuries. When these types of injuries are minor, they may only require the use of compression bandages, proper physical therapy, and prescribed rest. The more severe forms of closed degloving injuries may require one or more of the following procedures.
- The careful removal of all dead tissue
- Proper drainage of any built-up fluids caused by any lesions
- This procedure requires the doctor to inject damaged blood vessels with medication designed to make them shrink.
What kinds of complications can develop due to these treatment procedures?
Experienced doctors will warn their patients to watch for one or more of the following signs that their degloving treatment has developed some type of infection or another complication.
- Clear swelling around the degloved area
- The wound may have red-colored edges around it.
- Oozing substances may be draining out of the wound. This yellow, infected substance may smell bad.
- The patient may begin running a serious fever.
Which specific types of Harlem motorcycle accidents most often lead to degloving injuries?
Skin degloving usually occurs after a motorcyclist is hit with great force — or unexpectedly
propelled forward with great speed. Skidding across asphalt or other surfaces usually follows. Here are some examples of events that can lead to these often very painful accidents.
- A motorcyclist is rear-ended by a vehicle traveling at a very fast speed
- A large vehicle moving rapidly may sideswipe the motorcyclist, forcing her to hit other vehicles or fixed objects with great force
- A street may have numerous, large potholes in it – causing unsuspecting New York City motorcycle riders to be thrown forward in a sudden, uncontrollable manner
- The motorcycle rider is first hit and then pulled underneath a large passenger car or truck, before being dragged over a long distance
- A large, speeding vehicle may hit a motorcyclist hard while negotiating a left-hand turn
How physical therapy can often help survivors of motorcycle degloving accidents
- Injured motorcyclists can be taught how to perform certain physical exercises so that they can begin to regain function in one or more injured parts of their bodies. Physical therapists must often work closely with the patient’s pain specialist since many exercises – even simple ones – can greatly increase a patient’s pain. Fortunately, efforts can be made to teach unique ways to exercise that may decrease different types of pain.
- The trained therapist can teach seriously harmed degloving patients how to use any new type of prosthetic they may have been given. Getting these devices to work properly can be very time-consuming and frustrating for people. Special help may also be required when the injured patient may need to learn how to manipulate the prosthetic so well that s/he can return to work while using it.
- All degloving patients will need help with regaining greater flexibility, mobility, and range of motion.
Many patients can also greatly benefit from obtaining individual or family psychotherapy sessions since an entire family is often impacted by any one member’s severe injuries. However, a fair number of degloving patients do eventually regain a large percentage of their lost skills.
What are some of the long-term challenges that degloving patients may need to face?
Various articles, often featuring very graphic (and disturbing photos) indicate that the specific challenges that may develop are quite specific to the body part that has been severely injured. Obviously, patients who have suffered degloving injuries to various parts of their bodies will require comprehensive aftercare – if not routine check-ups with their doctors.
Additional surgeries may be required, especially if the repaired skin hampers the use of the nearby damaged parts of the body. Treatment involving hyperbaric oxygen may even be required.
General advice for preventing degloving accidents for all motorcyclists
Whether you regularly ride your motorcycle always wear full, protective riding gear to minimize your chances of suffering any type of serious, degloving accident.
Get Legal advice after a motorcycle accident
If you have suffered a serious degloving skin injury after a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our New York City motorcycle degloving injury law firm. We will carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.