You may or may not have heard of cryotherapy, but in many circles, it has become the latest in spa therapy. Cryotherapy involves exposure to low temperatures in an effort to relieve pain and improve health. As with any new fad, there are dangers that may not have been realized. The unfortunate reality is that cryotherapy can lead to catastrophic injury, even death.
Cryotherapy death in Las Vegas
A 24-year-old employee at a cryotherapy center in Las Vegas died as a result of suffocation. It was determined that she was exposed to low oxygen levels as a result of the extremely low temperatures produced in the chamber. The chamber itself is cooled with liquid nitrogen.
The purported benefits of cryotherapy
Those who believe in this unusual spa treatment claim that it reduces pain and inflammation, helps with weight loss, aids blood flow, and improves skin and signs of aging. Some even believe it improves the mental state of individuals who suffer from depression. The cryotherapy chamber exposes people to extraordinarily low temperatures, below those experienced on Earth. These ultra-low temperatures reaching -200 to -319 degrees Fahrenheit, for approximately one and a half to three minutes.
The unseen dangers of cryotherapy
What some proponents of this spa treatment may not realize is that cryotherapy has not been approved for medical use by the Food and Drug Administration. Yet, many customers and athletes still swear by this form of treatment. However, the recent death of the cryotherapy center employee has raised many concerns. It has been reported that the nitrogen levels in the tank may have been much lower than they should have been, possible because of a leak.
Additional risks of spa treatments in general
Other spa treatments, such as massage therapy and whirlpool baths, also have inherent risks. For example, water-based therapies often spread serious germs that lead to severe illnesses. Legionnaires’ disease is often traced back to water spa therapies, where bacteria thrives in the hot, wet environment. Unfortunately, many spas do not adequately clean their equipment. More disturbing is the fact that these treatments are mostly unregulated.
What should you do?
If you are considering cryotherapy, or some other type of spa therapy, do your research. Determine all you can about the benefits and risks of that treatment. It may also be a good idea to consult with your physician as well. But, if you have been injured as a result of cryotherapy or any other spa treatments, consult with a personal injury attorney to determine your rights.
If you have questions regarding catastrophic injuries, or any other personal injury issues, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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