Las Vegas cryotherapy center worker dies at work


A Las Vegas cryotherapy center employee died Tuesday at the south valley business, according to the Clark County coroner's office.

The circumstances surrounding the death of 24-year-old Chelsea Ake-Salvacion weren't immediately clear and the coroner's office hadn't determined the cause and manner by Saturday afternoon.

Ake-Salvacion, of Las Vegas, was declared dead at 1:10 p.m. at Rejuvenice, 8846 S. Eastern Ave., near the Pebble Road intersection, coroner's office staff said.

The center offers facials — that was her job — but also whole-body cryotherapy, which involves short exposures to air temperatures below minus 148 degrees Fahrenheit. Some athletes say the regimen enhances recovery after exercise and helps rehabilitation after injury.

KSNV-TV Channel 3, citing a friend and authorities, said Ake-Salvacion "froze to death." It reported that she went into a chamber on her own and that the device didn't turn off. The state Occupation Safety and Heath Administration told News 3 they believe she was in the machine over 10 hours.

OSHA could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Ake-Salvacion was interviewed for a story about the center for View, a Review-Journal publication, which went to print on Thursday. In the article she explains how hydrafacials and cryofacials "help remove dead skin cells and dirt, and nourish and protect the skin."

"And then after that, it's the extractions; it's similar to microdermabrasion, but instead of crystals that exfoliate the skin, it's more of a suction machine. After that, we apply a serum that protects the outer layer of the skin and moisturizes it. We like to do the cryofacial afterward because it helps seal everything in."

Whole-body cryotherapy received attention during the the NBA playoffs when LeBron James said he was dealing with nagging injuries by employing a liquid nitrogen freezing chamber that can reach around minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

In March 2014, researchers reported in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine that whole-body cryotherapy offers improvements in subjective recovery and muscle soreness after strenuous workouts, but little benefit toward functional recovery. No adverse effects were reported from the use of the therapy, but little evidence is available to show recovery is improved significantly over the traditional application of ice packs.

"Until further research is available, athletes should remain cognizant that less expensive modes of cryotherapy, such as local ice-pack application or cold-water immersion, offer comparable physiological and clinical effects," the researchers wrote.

Contact Ricardo Torres at rtorres@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @rickytwrites. Contact Steven Moore at smoore@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563.

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