HK woman dies, 3 hospitalized by beauty treatment

Associated Press Modified: October 11, 2012 at 6:31 am •  Published: October 11, 2012
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HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong authorities said one woman has died and three others have been hospitalized after undergoing a beauty treatment involving blood transfusions.

Hong Kong's Hospital Authority said a 46-year-old woman died Wednesday of septic shock after receiving the treatment at a beauty clinic. The treatment is being tested as a method to fight cancer but in this case it was used for cosmetic purposes.

The case has raised concerns about potentially risky medical treatments at the city's numerous clinics offering procedures that claim to enhance a person's appearance.

Health Secretary Ko Wing-man promised Thursday to review regulations governing the clinics and other private medical facilities. Ko said the review would look at putting private clinics that carry out "high risk medical treatments or procedures under regulatory control."

Health authorities are investigating whether a registered doctor carried out the treatment and whether the procedure was certified by Hong Kong's Medical Council.

The four also tested positive for a rare superbug called mycobacterium abscessus, which is extremely resistant to antibiotics.

The three women in hospitals are a 64-year-old in critical condition, a 56-year-old in serious condition and a 59-year-old in stable condition.

They were among 44 people who underwent the treatment at the DR Beauty chain of clinics. The treatment costs at least 50,000 Hong Kong dollars ($6,450), according to local news reports.

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