Thursday, April 14, 2005
N.C. Medical Board accuses doctor in spa hair removal death
the associated press
The medical director of a spa is accused of improperly prescribing a powerful numbing gel used by laser hair removal clients and blamed for the death of a college student.
The North Carolina Medical Board on Wednesday said Dr. Ira David Uretzky failed to take medical histories or perform physical exams before the prescription gel was given to spa clients, as required by law. It also said he failed to give individual prescriptions for the gel.
The board could limit, suspend or revoke his license if it finds him guilty of the allegations. A hearing has been tentatively set for June 15.
Officials said Shiri Berg, 22, a student at North Carolina State University died of a lidocaine overdose Jan. 5 after she applied the anesthetic gel to her legs.
Berg was due to receive laser hair removal treatments at Premier Body Laser and Skin Clinic and apparently spread the gel on her legs, then wrapped them in cellophane. A passing motorist found her in her car having seizures on the morning of Dec. 28. She died nine days later.
The board said that, soon after Uretzky became medical director of the spa in November, he ordered 142 tubes of the gel from Triangle Compounding Pharmacy in Cary. They were inappropriately sold to the spa’s customers, the board said.
The board also said Uretzky failed to make sure the spa’s staff was appropriately trained and supervised, and that he did not properly register with the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy.
David Kirby, a lawyer for Berg’s parents, said the board’s findings agree with his own investigation.
Uretzky, who is listed as an ear, nose and throat specialist at a clinic in north Raleigh, did not return a phone call seeking comment.