The death of a woman from septic shock after she received a cosmetic treatment normally administered to terminal cancer patients has highlighted a gaping loophole in Hong Kong’s health legislation that exempts beauty centres from regulations applied to clinics or hospitals.
The 46-year-old woman, one of four Hong Kongers hospitalized due to the treatment, died a week after receiving DC-CIK therapy from the DR Beauty Centre. Shortly after her trip to DR she began suffering headaches and diarrhoea, which proved to be symptoms of septic shock, a fatal (in this case) blood infection.
A spokesperson for the Hong Kong Health Department explained the purpose of the treatment:
DC-CIK involves concentration and processing of blood taken from the person, which is subsequently infused back to the patient. According to investigation, the treatment was provided by a registered medical practitioner.
The procedure is typically administered to patients with metastatic cancer as a last ditch measure. DR however, advertised “platelet rich plasma” as a facial revitalization treatment at HK$50,000 a time.
A criminal probe is under way into the clinic and the procedure that led to this woman’s death. Legislation may also be introduced to bring beauty clinics under the regulatory remit of the Health Department.
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