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What is a Degloving Injury?

worker with a makeshift bandage over hand

You may have heard of degloving injuries before, but you may not know precisely what they are. In short, a degloving injury is when the skin is completely torn off the tissue and bone below it. These types of injuries are usually caused by a high-impact force, such as a car accident or a fall from a height. While degloving injuries can happen to anyone, they are most common in young children and older adults.

What Are Degloving Injuries?

Degloving injuries are severe traumas when the skin is completely torn off the tissue and bone below it. The word "degloving" comes from the fact that the skin appears to have been removed, or "peeled," from the body. These types of injuries are most commonly caused by high-impact forces, such as:

  • Car accidents,
  • Motorcycle accidents,
  • Construction accidents and
  • Falls from heights.

Where Do These Injuries Occur?

Degloving injuries can occur anywhere on the body, but they are most common in the extremities, such as the hands, feet, and legs. When degloving injuries occur on the face, they are often referred to as avulsions. Face avulsions can be especially devastating because they often result in disfigurement.

Types of Degloving Injuries

Degloving injuries are classified as either partial or full-thickness. Partial-thickness degloving injuries involve only the top layer of skin (the epidermis). Full-thickness degloving injuries extend through the dermis into the subcutaneous tissue below. Full-thickness degloving injuries are more severe because they damage not only the skin but also the underlying blood vessels, muscles, and bones.

Consequences of Degloving Injuries

Degloving injuries can have serious consequences for those who suffer them. In addition to pain and suffering, degloving patients often require extensive and expensive medical treatment, including surgery, skin grafts, and physical therapy. In some cases, patients may never regain full use of their injured extremities. In addition to physical consequences, degloving patients may suffer psychological repercussions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorders.

Degloving patients may also incur significant financial costs related to their injuries, such as medical bills and lost wages (if they cannot work). These factors can add up to a challenging recovery process for degloving patients and their families.

Compensation for Degloving Injuries

If you or a loved one has suffered a degloving injury due to someone else's negligence—such as a car accident caused by a distracted driver or a negligent third party in a workplace accident—you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, injured individuals can recover damages for their economic losses (such as medical bills) and their noneconomic losses (such as pain and suffering). If you have been injured in an accident, it is essential to speak with Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, so we can help you understand your legal rights and options moving forward.

Contact Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn today at (415) 940-7176 to schedule a free consultation.