Cryotherapy has been all over the news recently and not because of its innovative technique to improve skin elasticity or treat tissue damage, but for the dangers associated with stepping inside the deadly chambers.
The death of 24-year-old Chelsea Ake has sparked fear of the procedure which has become popular among athletes and celebrities such as Floyd Mayweather and Lindsay Lohan for its beauty and medical advantages.
Ake — who managed the Rejuvenice Cryotherapy Center in Henderson, Nevada — was found frozen to death in one of the establishment’s Cryotherapy freezing chambers.
It is suspected that Ake died within seconds of inhaling the cooling nitrogen gases emitted into the chamber and that her body had been in there for at least 10 hours before it was discovered.
As an average person who is admittedly not very knowledgeable about skincare, I can’t quite fathom why anyone would willingly subject themselves to nitrogen.
"Nitrogen in your body can displace the oxygen in your lungs. Simply because of weight and what it is, so if you don't have the proper oxygen you are just going to sleep," said Dr. Dale Carrison of University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
If you look at the chamber itself, it literally looks like a death trap. It’s a giant metal box with bright lights and smoke fuming out. It’s like a refrigerator for humans. It looks like something used to torture people, not revitalize their skin and muscles.
Rejuvenice’s website says their chambers never lock so as to allow clients to stop treatment at any time and Cryohealthcare, the company that makes the chambers, says it is protocol that no one — including employees — are to use the machines unsupervised.
"Industry protocol is that no person may ever undergo treatment in any whole body Cryotherapy machine alone or unsupervised ... A thoroughly trained operator must be present at the control panel at all times during treatment," a Cryohealthcare representative reportedly told The Huffington Post.
That rule is a little murky in Ake’s case though, seeing as how she was a trained supervisor and thus has probably operated those machines dozens of times and never expected to lose her life inside one of them.
“Something went wrong. It’s not operator error if she died within seconds,” Chelsea’s uncle, Albert Ake, reportedly said.
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Nevada’s Occupational and Safety Health Administration reportedly said they will not investigate Ake’s death because she was using the chamber outside of business hours for personal use.
Autopsy results have not been released but as of now, Ake’s death has been ruled an accident. All Rejuvenice locations have been ordered to shut down after it was revealed the company is not licensed to perform cosmetic procedures.
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