Woman’s Death Follows Spa Treatment

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MONTREAL, Aug. 1 (UPI) — The death of a 35-year-old Quebec woman following a detoxification session at a spa shows such facilities need regulation, health experts say.

Just because a spa offers a particular service “doesn’t mean its safe,” said Louis Francescutti, a University of Alberta professor of emergency medicine and public health.

“Most Canadians believe that if it’s offered, then someone must have looked into it,” he said. “This should send a warning bell to Canadians that we need to expect our governments to be more vigilant with what goes on in these places.”

Currently there is no national system of standards or regulations for spas, The Globe and Mail reported Monday.

Francescutti’s remarks came after the death of Chantal Lavigne, 35, who took part in a lengthy detoxification procedure with about nine others at a spa in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

Lavigne, from Saint-Albert, was rushed to a hospital early Friday morning after spending a considerable period covered in mud and wrapped in plastic.

She later died at the hospital.

Francescutti would not speculate on Lavigne’s cause of death before the completion of an autopsy, but did say if something interferes with the body’s ability to control heat, there is a risk of heat stroke.

“The body has pretty good defense mechanisms,” he said. “But if you put something in play that screws the body up, then the body isn’t going to know how to respond to it.”

Lavigne’s death raises concerns about whether spa workers were properly trained, Francescutti said.

“Are these people trained to know what to look for in terms of vital signs?” he asked. “Do they take an adequate history? And what are their procedures in an event something goes wrong?”

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