A Broward County resident working in Miami Dade-County was recently awarded an adjustable orthopedic air mattress and bed by an Orlando workers’ compensation Judge.
The injured worker was involved in a work-related car accident resulting in injuries to his neck, back and jaw. The injured worker then underwent a spinal fusion surgery. When the surgery failed to relieve him of his pain, he was referred to a pain management physician. He was provided various treatments, including pain and sleep medication. After he was found to no longer be able to achieve any further medical improvement, he was assigned a 14% permanent impairment rating and left with ongoing medical problems.
Once of his biggest problems was an inability to get a good night’s sleep. After failed sleep medication and the workers’ compensation insurance company denying an alternative sleep medication, his pain management doctor recommended workers’ compensation provide him with a king sized adjustable air mattress bed such as a Sleep Number bed.
The judge found that the doctor’s opinion demonstrated that the injured worker suffered from significant pain which resulting in an inability to get a good night’s sleep, even with the aid of medication. These problems were addressed with his pain management doctor and it was confirmed that his inability to find a comfortable position in his bed was related to his work related injuries.
The Judge took special note of the fact that the request for the specialized bed was made after alternative treatment was requested and denied and that, “not being able to get a good night sleep …would exacerbate his pain and make him worse.” It was the doctor’s opinion that he believed that it is important to be rested to be able to function at work and that the reported lack of sleep resulted in restless nights which interfered with his work.
The doctor further explained that an orthopedic bed such as an adjustable air mattress is a necessary part of his treatment following the finding of sleep deprivation, inability to effectively use sleep medications and the denial of other care by work comp.
Based on this opinion, the Judge ruled that the workers’ compensation insurance company was responsible for providing adjustable air mattress bed with a mattress whose firmness and softness can be changed.