Doctors have warned patients will remain at risk in unregulated Australian beauty clinics should appropriate rules not be put in place for sedation.
Professor David A Scott, the president of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, said cardiac arrest and severe toxic reactions would continue ‘until we have appropriate regulations’.
It comes as Jean Huang, 35, died in Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Friday, during an alleged botched breast operation.
The woman reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest during the surgery at The Medi Beauty in Chippendale clinic on Wednesday.
It is alleged she was given 10 times the normal dose of painkiller by 33-year-old Chinese tourist Jie Shao.
Shao has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm and using poison to endanger a person’s life, with police considering further legal action following Ms Huang’s death.
Professor Scott said he had written to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard seeking a meeting to discuss safe sedation following the incident.
He said he wanted to speak with all Australian health ministers about introducing an agreed set of safe standards and guidelines across the country.
Professor Scott said different states currently had different processes to determine which facilities should be appropriately credited.
However, the college is seeking clear guidelines to ensure that whenever a procedure requires intravenous sedation or significant amounts of local anaesthetic, it is done in a registered, licensed facility.
Mr Hazzard said he was yet to see Professor Scott’s letter, but would meet with ANZCA.
‘I am appalled that these circumstances could have occurred at all, but I have to be very careful about what I say as health minister because there are now criminal charges,’ he said.
‘On the broader issue of procedures being carried out in a non-regulated clinic, there would appear to be some very complex issues which I’ve asked the Department of Health to review.’
The head of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Dr Mark Magnusson, said patients should always confirm a facility’s accreditation and practitioners’ qualifications.
‘This includes those providing the treatment and anyone assisting, especially with intravenous medication or anaesthesia,’ he said.
In an unrelated case last year, patients of another unregistered practitioner in Sydney were told they could be infected with blood-borne viruses from cosmetic treatments.
NSW Health in 2016 warned people who received treatments by Pu Liu, or Mabel Liu, in her Five Dock apartment to see their GP for blood tests after she allegedly used injectable drugs not approved for use in Australia.
The Health Care Complaints Commission later banned her for three years from providing any cosmetic medical or surgical services.
Meanwhile Shao, who had been in the country only four or five days when she was arrested, was refused bail with the case due to return to court Tuesday.
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