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Beauty treatment

Hong Kong beauty treatment is actually a deadly blood transfusion contaminated with lethal 'superbugs'

Monday, October 15, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: beauty treatment, blood transfusion, superbugs

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(NaturalNews) A popular cosmetic procedure in the Asian city of Hong Kong was recently exposed as a potential fraud after one woman died and three others were hospitalized. A beauty chain known as DR has been telling women that getting the procedure, known as DC-CIK, will cleanse their skin, reduce the size of their pores, and make them look more beautiful, among other benefits. But tests show that the blood transfusion procedure is often tainted with deadly "superbugs" that may cause serious injury or death.

The procedure, which typically costs the equivalent of about $6,500, involves drawing blood from patients, processing and culturing it with certain types of immune cells, and injecting the "cytokine-induced killer cells" back inside the patients' bodies along with their blood plasma. The idea is that this fortified blood will help cleanse the body and boost immunity, while simultaneously improving skin quality and making patients appear more youthful.

Multiple women suffer serious injury or death following controversial treatment

It turns out; however, that at least four women have become infected with deadly pathogens following the procedure. A 59-year-old woman is currently hospitalized in stable condition, according to reports, while a 56-year-old woman is hospitalized in serious condition. Another woman, 64 years of age, is barely holding on to her life following the procedure, while a 46-year-old woman has already died after being infected with a rare and deadly superbug known as Mycobacterium abscessus.

Somewhere along the line, each of these women's drawn blood became contaminated with the antibiotic-resistant superbug before getting injected back into their bodies, which severely compromised their health. Government officials are currently investigating the situation to determine the link between the beauty clinics, the doctors they used to perform the procedures, and the medical laboratories where the blood samples were altered.

"We hope that this tragedy will result in some attempt at making a legislation, or at least work towards legislating and defining what medical treatment is," said Felice Lieh Mak, a former chairman of the Medical Council of Hong Kong (MCHK) about the incident.

Should cosmetic procedures be more highly regulated in Hong Kong?

The DC-CIK medical treatment was originally designed for the legitimate purpose of testing its potential benefits as a cancer treatment. But it appears as though DR beauty parlors began using it for other unintended purposes, as beauty clinics in Hong Kong are not regulated in the same way that other health facilities are.

According to the Consumer Council, patients in Hong Kong have also been reporting injuries from other questionable cosmetic procedures, including a procedure known as "microneedle therapy" that involves pressing a roller embedded with tiny needles across women's faces. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), many women have reported extreme pain, rashes, and even dermatitis as a result of this particular procedure.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.guardian.co.uk

http://abcnews.go.com

http://blogs.wsj.com

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