Man gets severe burns at self-proclaimed 'medical' facility

A retail company that sells electrical goods calls itself a medical center and offers free health improvement procedures. Latvian Television's broadcast 4. studija was approached by a viewer who suffered severe burns at this establishment, LTV reported in its November 30 show.

Agris Akmentiņš was approached on the street by a woman who introduced herself and told him about a health center where she could help heal various ailments. A free ticket given to Agris stated that he was invited to the center "100+Medical", which would provide real help to people with cardiovascular conditions and high blood pressure; even in the case of glaucoma, it would help restore vision and promise more miracles. As a diabetes patient, this offer has been of great interest to Agris.

“I went to see them. Filled out a card that I had diabetes and started doing those procedures,“ Agris said. Procedures took place by heating rocks placed on body parts.

"I also told her I had no sensation in my feet and legs, so she turned that temperature too high. I didn't even feel my feet burning."

Agris' spouse spotted the blisters on his feet. Agris has called the medical center, where he was reassured that the blisters would pass, but when they started turning black, Agris sought real medical help.

Agris had to be hospitalized for more than three weeks to treat the foot ulcers and is continuing treatment at home.

 “They said I was the third patient with this problem to come from there,” said Agris. “I was lucky and another was lucky, but the third one had got more severe [injury] to the bone, and part of the foot had to be amputated.”

Rīga Eastern Clinical Hospital where Agris was treated did not confirm or deny this. 4. studija went to the "100+Medical" center.

At the time of LTV's arrival, dozens of people were in the center, mostly seniors. Some were laid in beds where they received heating procedures. Others listened to a lecture on how health can be improved here. The company is offering to buy warming mats incorporating jade stones. The mats are expensive – at around €2,000, but some seniors bought them.

Oksana Miļlnko, head of the center, told the broadcast that this is a "community where healthy people look after others". She also explained that stones can be heated up to 70 degrees during the procedure. It counts as deep heating by the method of burning, which is also popular in folk medicine.

When asked if Agris's feet had been literally burned in the hope of a resurgence of circulation in them, Milenko replied that the burn was not dangerous and his own blood would heal the blisters.

The "medical" center will celebrate its anniversary on December 13. At least 700 people have received procedures here in 12 months. “Treatment” acts as a showcase for expensive heating devices to encourage people to buy them. However, there is one important nuance – this medical center has registered as a retail company in Latvia, so it is in fact a shop which is not allowed to carry out treatment procedures, as also confirmed by the Health Inspectorate.

The retail company, which calls itself a medical center, has misled people, according to the Health Inspectorate.

"If persons without medical training provide a service, this is dangerous to health; the Health Inspectorate then invites the Consumer Rights Protection Centre (PTAC) to pay close attention to this company."

PTAC spokeswoman Sanita Gertmane as;sp said that “attributing treatment processes to regular services” as well as getting burns should be assessed. For now, authorities have not received victim submissions about the medical center's operations. Once they come, specialists will assess how safe a service for human health this retail company provides.

On November 29, specialists of the Health Inspectorate arrived at the inspection SIA “100+Medical”. Since it is not a medical establishment and not even a retailer of medical devices, but of electrical goods, the Inspectorate instructed the company to immediately stop using medical terminology in its communication, as well as to stop referring to itself as a medical center.

As the monitoring of electrical products is the responsibility of the PTAC, the Health Inspectorate has sent the information to the PTAC, calling for special attention to be paid to this company.

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