A Las Vegas spa manager, 24-year-old Chelsea Ake, was found frozen solid inside of a cryotherapy chamber at the Rejuvenice spa after she closed the store alone the evening before. The cryotherapy treatment places users in extreme cold for brief periods of time in a bid to help with increased circulation, weight loss, or inflammation reduction. The treatment at the Rejuvenice spa operated at a temperature of -240 degrees Fahrenheit, which is colder than the peak of Mount Everest and can cause death in an extremely short period of time. Therefore, users are only allowed to stay in the chamber for a maximum of three minutes. However, Chelsea Ake was in the chamber for over 10 hours before coworkers found her frozen in solid ice the next morning.
According to 3 News, 24-year-old Rejuvenice spa manager Chelsea Ake was found frozen in a solid block of ice inside of the company’s cryotherapy chamber after closing the store alone the night before. Ake apparently entered the cryotherapy chamber before being overcome by the nitrogen gases, which would have caused her to die within seconds. Her body was then frozen solid as she remained inside the cryotherapy chamber for 10 hours. The chamber was set to a temperature of -240 degrees Fahrenheit, which froze the woman solid overnight.
Reports indicate that Ake was frozen in a solid block of ice when co-workers found her inside of the chamber. The fire department was called to the scene where they were forced to break the ice to retrieve the body. Chelsea’s family members shared with reporters the horrific details of the Clark County Coroner’s report, which included the fact that the woman’s skin was visibly blue upon inspection after the fire department freed her from the block of ice.
A local doctor, Dr. Dale Carrison, said that the woman’s accidental death inside of the cryotherapy chamber is the most “bizarre” death he has heard of in some time. He went on to say that the woman would have likely died well before the 10-hour period as the human body would be unable to survive in such extreme temperatures.
Following the horrifying spa accident, the Rejuvenice spa was shut down by the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology for not having proper licenses for all of the services offered at the location. It was not disclosed if the cryotherapy chamber was licensed for use or not; however, it was noted that the spa had filed paperwork to receive the proper certifications but had not yet been approved.
Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the case appears to be due to operator error not a malfunctioning machine. However, they did note that it appears that Ake was inside of the cryotherapy chamber for nearly 10 hours before being found by co-workers. They have allegedly closed the investigation into the case as user error was the determining factor in the untimely death.
Doctors claim that therapies such as cryotherapy should have safeguards in place to ensure accidents like this do not happen in the future, user-error or not. Dr. Carrison also suggests that spa-goers look into the true medical benefits of a procedure before agreeing to partake in a service.
What do you think about cryotherapy chambers? Do you think all cryotherapy chambers should have automatic shutoff and user-error detection devices in place? Should the spa be held liable for the manager’s death despite the fact the cryoptherapy chamber death was ruled accidental and the result of user-error?
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