Cryo for chiro (Pt 1): safety features and limiting liability with the Recovery XR
Limiting Liability in Medical Practices
One of the largest concerns among the health industry is limiting liability for doctors and patients. Doctors must go through years of medical training, and avoid medical malpractice at all costs. There are large legal issues at stake, especially when diagnosing and treating patients.
Chiropractors in particular offer patients a variety of treatments, depending on each individual. Recently, more chiropractors have been implementing cryotherapy as an add- on to their practice. Not only does it greatly benefit the patient, but it can also add revenue to the business. Yet, is there danger to installing a cryo chamber for patient use? How safe is it?
Cryotherapy is useful since it implements cold treatment on customers. Cold treatment can help to reduce aches and pains, as well as inflammation. These pains can include trouble areas in the back, which is the reason chiropractors exist. Including a cryo chamber in a private office means a chiropractor’s patients may pay a little extra after a session to help relieve their pain, on top of the chiropractor’s adjustments and other treatments.
With this relatively new and growing invention in technology and medicine, there are certainly health and safety concerns. While the health benefits have been researched and often proven true, in that the user feels better after cryotherapy, safety concerns are a top priority that need to be further addressed. Liquid nitrogen, after all, is a natural and safe element that can touch the skin, though exposure improperly or for too long can be dangerous and even fatal.
Speculation surrounding Cryotherapy
There was an unfortunate incident in Las Vegas, Nevada last year involving a cryotherapy chamber. A young worker at a spa with a cryo sauna decided to use one by herself. She tried to take a selfie, but dropped her cell phone. When she leaned down to pick it up, she was overcome by the liquid nitrogen and passed out. Another worker found her in the chamber in the morning; she was dead. When taking the details of the story in consideration, two main points stand out: the fact that she was alone, and the fact that the chamber did not turn off when her head dropped below the top. Likewise, the Recovery XR requires that an operator is present with the user at all times. It also includes a heads proximity sensor, explained more in detail below. With these add-ons, it has become impossible for the user to die, as they will be monitored and cannot dip their head down and breathe in the liquid nitrogen.
Due to this one story, and the lack of FDA approval for cryo chambers, many are afraid of cryotherapy. While it is true it has not been FDA approved, this is because it has not yet been considered a medical device. This will be further determined, yet there has been more research recently, and many proponents of the therapy are licensed doctors.
Notably, Doctor Oz featured the therapy and his TV show. After trying it out, and upon further research, he and others have found out it is a useful treatment for pain and anxiety. Other users report a better night’s sleep after using the treatment, and it has also been shown to increase collagen production, therefore making the skin look younger.
For further evidence on its benefits, here are just a few studies done on the topic:
Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2000 Apr;39(2):93-100. English Abstractwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Sports Med. 2010 Jun 1;40(6):509-17. doi: 10.2165/11531940-000000000-00000. Reviewwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2011 Sep;71(5):419-25. doi: 10.3109/00365513.2011.580859. Epub 2011 May 16. Research Support…www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(more studies at: http://cryoinnovations.com/cryochamber-studies/)
The Recovery XR’s Features
Now that liability issues have been addressed, let’s get to the safety features. Surely, many are nervous or uncertain about this relatively new treatment. This is why, given these concerns, the manufacturer Cryo Innovations has reinvented the design of the cryo chamber. Keeping in mind just who may purchase the unit, the designers implemented safety features so that there will be as least likely a chance for danger and a lawsuit as possible.
The cryo sauna model offered by Cryo Innovations is called the Recovery XR. Similar to others on the market, key elements in its design include on-board O2 sensors and little to no dry out time. Still, it improves upon earlier cryo sauna designs due to its additional capabilities and safety features. Here is a list of these features with descriptions:
- Mobile chamber: the Recovery XR rests on a platform with wheels, so the chamber is mobile. This enables an easier installation for the purchaser. While the space for the chamber will usually be predetermined, the purchaser can change their mind on this due to its mobility. It eliminates the need for additional equipment to move the chamber.
- Self installation: Again, the installation process with this model will be easier than with other chambers on the market. The user can install the chamber themselves, given a list of instructions.
- Head proximity sensor: this prevents the user’s head from dropping below the top of the unit. This is an important improvement since dropping one’s head below the top, breathing in the liquid nitrogen, is very dangerous. This combined with the oxygen monitors is essential to prevent the user from passing out or worse.
- Pulse oxygen reader: the user wears a sensor on their ear to monitor pulse. It must stay within a normal range throughout the session.
- Fingerprint authorization: both the operator and the user must have an authorized fingerprint, or else the unit will not turn on. The user must follow the point of sale system steps to be authorized. There must always be an operator on the outside to monitor the cryotherapy session.
- Tablet/Wi-Fi: The Recovery XR has a built in point of sale system on a tablet. On the tablet, the user inputs relevant information first and foremost to make sure cryotherapy is safe. There are certain people who cannot use the treatment, such as those who are pregnant. Once the questionnaire is filled out, the user puts their financial information- how many sessions they are buying, and how. At the very end, after reading through what is expected of the user like the clothes required, they must sign an agreement. This tablet connects to WiFi to make the process efficient.
Each of these features address major safety and liability concerns. These features have been added for the easiest and most reliable user experience. In the next post, Pt 2 of Cryo for Chiro, I will lay out just how financially beneficial implementing cryotherapy will be for chiropractor’s practices.