New Report Suggests Cell Phone May Have Been Involved in Cryotherapy Death

The story just got even more terrifying.

Lip, Eyebrow, Eyelash, Jaw, Display device, Wrist, Television set, Tooth, Television, Thinking,
(Image credit: Getty, design by Jen Baumgardner)

Update, 11/7: Though the case of a young woman freezing to death in a cryotherapy chamber has been officially ruled as an accident, the tragic incident involving Chelsea Ake-Salvacion has sparked many questions and concerns about the practice. In particular, the potential safety hazards and necessary precautions that at this point have not been regulated or monitored. 

While typical whole-body cryotherapy chambers encase the individual in freezing temperatures from the neck down, Ake-Salvacion was found frozen in the fetal position with her cell phone nearby. The New York Times reports that her family's lawyer, Richard A. Harris, is suggesting Ake-Salvacion may have dropped her phone and reached down to retrieve it, becoming trapped in the chamber where the high levels of nitrogen and minimal oxygen would've caused her to pass out and freeze.

Original Post, 10/26: Like an episode of Bones but way freakier because it's real, a 24-year-old Las Vegas woman was found dead inside a cyrotherapy chamber Tuesday. Medical examiners suggest she was literally flash-frozen, dying within "seconds."

According to the Washington Post (opens in new tab), esthetician Chelsea Ake-Salvacion was alone in the medical spa she managed when she entered one of the -240-degree chambers, which allegedly reduce inflammation, boost immunity and metabolism, and improve skin tone, among other health and aesthetic benefits. Results from the autopsy are still pending, but investigators initially ruled "operator error," a charge her family denies.

The FDA has not approved the treatment, so even more reason to think twice about stepping nearly naked into a metal pod cooled to temperatures lower than those on the summit of Mount Everest.

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Chelsea Peng
Chelsea Peng

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.