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Mexico closes clinic in hyperbaric chamber death

April 24, 2014

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities have suspended medical services at a private clinic after a patient was found dead inside a hyperbaric chamber.

The federal oversight agency in charge of medicines and health care said late Wednesday that work at the Hyperbaric Medicine of Toluca clinic was being halted while authorities investigated whether it followed appropriate procedures.

The agency said 70-year-old Filemon Consuelo Loria died in the chamber in Toluca, a city just west of the capital in Mexico state. State prosecutor Miguel Contreras earlier gave the man’s age as 60.

Prosecutors detained a doctor and three workers at the clinic after Consuelo Loria was left inside the chamber overnight. He suffered from diabetes.

Investigators haven’t determined if he was left inside the oxygen-enriched chamber by mistake or on purpose.

Hyperbaric therapy involves putting patients in a chamber to receive increased levels of oxygen to boost the healing process or treat decompression sickness, known as the bends

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, one of the potential risks of hyperbaric chambers is “oxygen toxicity, which can cause lung failure, fluid in the lungs, or seizures.”

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