2005-02-09 15:05:33 UTC
POSTED: 9:19 am EST February 9, 2005
UPDATED: 9:25 am EST February 9, 2005
RALEIGH, N.C. -- An autopsy confirms what was thought all along about
the death of a North Carolina State University student.
Shiri Berg, 22, died Jan. 5 from an overdose of Lidocaine, a
pain-killing cream used to numb the skin before laser hair removal
treatments at a spa.
She had applied some cream she bought from a hair removal clinic during
a prior consultation and began suffering seizures in her car on Dec. 28
while driving to the clinic for the procedure.
The autopsy, which was completed Friday, described Shiri Berg as
otherwise healthy and well-nourished. It said the anesthetic gel she
applied from her feet to her waist likely led to her seizures, cardiac
arrest and brain death.
That gel included 10 percent lidocaine and 10 percent tetracaine in a
solution prepared by Triangle Compounding Pharmacy of Cary. She died
Jan. 5 at Rex Healthcare.
David Kirby, a lawyer for the Berg family, said the autopsy report
brings his investigation into Berg's death to near conclusion.
Meanwhile, an Arizona woman died last fall under circumstances similar
The News and Observer of Raleigh reports that Blanca Bolanos of Tucson
died Nov. 1 after being hooked to a respirator in her mother's house for
nearly two years.
On Jan. 25, 2002, Bolanos applied anesthetic cream to her legs and
wrapped them in cellophane several hours before an appointment for laser
hair removal. She became disoriented while driving, had seizures and
fell into a coma. She never regained consciousness and died of
Berg died Jan. 5 under almost identical circumstances.
Neither Bolanos nor Berg had prescriptions for the cream, which was
given to them by nonmedical employees at the clinics where they were to
have laser hair removal done.
Bolanos' mother has sued the Tucson clinic and the clinic's physican.
Her attorney has already reached an out-of-court settlement with the
Utah pharmacy that compounded the cream.