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A criminal probe is underway after four women, who received skin revitalization therapy at a beauty salon, required hospitalization for a potentially lethal blood infection, three of them receiving intensive care.
The three women, aged between 46 to 60, had undergone intravascular infusions at a Causeway Bay center of the DR Medical Beauty Group on Wednesday afternoon, as part of the “DC-CIK” treatment.
They were taken to hospitals on Wednesday and Thursday after suffering deepening headaches and diarrhea, later diagnosed as septic shock, a form of acute and severe blood infection. All three remained in critical condition on Friday.
“This treatment 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,” a spokesperson of the Health Department said.
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The DR Group clarified in a statement that the intravenous infusion was conducted by certified doctors at a clinic independent of the DR Group. It added that the patients’ conditions were assessed prior to the commencement of therapy.
Names of neither the practitioner nor the clinic were disclosed by either side.
The Regional Crime Unit of Hong Kong Island, joined by Health Department, began an investigation on Thursday. Officers garnered information at DR’s treatment centers and at a laboratory in Tai Po, which was believed to have processed the patients’ blood mixture.
Secretary for health and hygiene, Ko Wing-man, pledged to find out who must be held responsible, “I can promise that since the nature of this incident is serious, a thorough investigation is a must.”
Apart from the three critically ill patients, government investigators were able to contact only 35 of 41 customers on the salon’s record shown to have received the therapy. Other clients of DR were urged to consult a doctor if they feel uncomfortable after similar treatments.
The DR web site made no reference to a treatment called “DC-CIK”, but a treatment called “platelet rich plasma” resembles similar procedures.