Health care workers are at high risk of suffering back injuries while lifting patients and equipment. Back injuries are a type of musculoskeletal injury that can make returning to work very difficult, as some workers will be unable to function with high levels of pain.
A recent article published by NPR shows how debilitating back injuries
are for health care workers. The article discusses the story of an emergency room nurse who was injured while lifting a patient. According to the article, a 300-pound patient had fallen from her bed and needed the assistance of several nurses.
Midway through lifting the patient, the nurse heard a loud popping sound and instantly doubled over in pain. After finishing her shift, she drove home and went to bed. The next morning, she was unable to walk. It turns out she had damaged a disc in her spine. Stories like this one are common, and the Department of Labor suspects more than 35,000 back injuries occur among health care workers every year.
Health Care Workers with Back Injuries Can Benefit from New Treatments
New medical treatments might help alleviate pain caused by back injuries. Electric nerve stimulation has been increasingly used to treat chronic pain. The treatment involves implanting a device under the skin that sends electric pulses to the nerves to block pain. Although the treatment is effective for more than half of patients who receive it, some injured health care workers might notice a gradual decline in effectiveness as the nerves adapt to pain-blocking stimulation.
If treatments fail to stop pain and health care workers are unable return to their occupations, workers’ compensation or disability benefits might be a possibility.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
– Columbus Workers’ Comp Lawyer