Premier Body Laser Clinics closes after client death

Cosmetic Surgery Clinic Closes After Lidocaine Death
(01/31/05 - RALEIGH) — There is fallout from a story Eyewitness News broke weeks ago. Premier Body Clinic in Raleigh closed its doors Monday.

Premier Body is under investigation in the death of 22-year-old Shiri Berg, an N.C. State student who slipped into a coma and died after she used Lidocaine. The Berg family says she applied the numbing cream before a scheduled treatment at Premier Body.

The notice from Premier says it is closing and liquidating its assets because of publicity surrounding Shiri Berg’s death and a recent down turn in business. The statement reads, “Regrettably, the company will no longer be able to service clients and will be unable to provide refunds for clients at this time.”

A patient who would only identify herself as “Frances” says she is fuming mad that Premier Body closed its doors without letting all of the patients know.

“It makes me angry,” she said. “I think they need to do what they can and give money back to people who paid for this up front.”

“Frances” says she paid $3,000 for five appointments to have laser hair removal done to her legs, bikini area, underarms and the back of her neck. With two appointments left, she feels she is owed about $600.

Patients may not get back their money. The N.C. Attorney General’s office says Premier Laser is not bonded. If bonded businesses shut down abruptly, the customers are protected. At least five Premier Body patents contacted the attorney general’s office about filing a complaint against the company.

Patients who paid with a credit card may be able to get a refund. A representative with the attorney general’s office says they should contact their credit card company quickly and say they’ve paid for a service but the company has now gone out of business.

The attorney general’s office is asking concerned customers to come forward and file complaints.

More info:

01/19/05: New Details about Student’s Death as State Board Looks at Laser Hair Removal

More on the laser clinic death from topical lidocaine in North Carolina

NBC 17 - Health Watch - Medical Board Eyes Changing Laser Hair Removal Rules

NBC 17 - Health Watch - Controversial Hair Removal Clinic Shuts Down - News - Former Patients At Raleigh Clinic Not Surprised About Closing

Eyewitness News Closed Clinic Warned to Refund Current Customers

It just goes to show you that practitioner competence is the most important factor when choosing a laser hair removal practitioner.

People can be allergic to lidocaine, and it can have cardiovascular side effects when used on large areas or in high concentrations. Usually products that contain lidocaine will have a warning on the package about that. And licocaine should never be applied to broken skin in any concentration.

Even Solarcaine, an OTC sunburn remedy, has a warning about using on broken skin and large areas. And it has a very low concentration of lidocaine.

My practitioner rarely uses numbing cream on laser hair removal patients.