Pressure is mounting on Hong Kong authorities to clamp down on risky medical procedures at beauty parlours after four women suffered septic shock following a health treatment that involved a blood transfusion used for treating cancer.
Three of the women, aged 46, 56 and 60, remain in critical condition after their recent treatment at the DR Health Centre. A fourth remains in a stable condition.
Hong Kong's Health Minister, Dr Ko Wing-man, said an investigation was under way. "I do not rule out the possibility of the need for legislation, or an amendment to the current law to pin down those high-risk medical therapies," said Dr Ko.
The women each paid HK$50,000 (£4,000) for a "health therapy" blood transfusion used in treating metastatic cancer. They were given a plasma therapy known as CIK, or "cytokine-induced killer cells". The treatment is used to improve the survival rate of cancer patients after surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
The clinic's founder insisted that the treatment was a beauty therapy, not a medical treatment, but Dr Ko denied this and said the investigation would try to determine if the blood was contaminated when the transfusion was given.
Legal loopholes mean Hong Kong's Health Ministry does not have any authority to legislate over beauty salons, as they are not technically clinics or hospitals. The controversy has put pressure on the legislators to clamp down on controversial practices at beauty parlours.
The women paid £4,000 for 'health therapy' blood transfusion used in treating cancer
A 46 year-old woman who suffered septic shock after receiving blood transfusions at a beauty centre has died. It was earlier confirmed that she had been infected with a drug-resistant 'superbug.' The Health Secretary, Ko Wing-man, said authorities will investigate to see if anyone should be held liable.
Dr Ko also said he was saddened by the patient's death and offered his condolences to her family.
Three other women who received the same treatment at a beauty centre in Causeway Bay remain in hospital.
The victim received a blood transfusion at the DR beauty chain's Causeway Bay centre last Wednesday, and quickly became gravely ill with septic shock. Doctors later confirmed that she'd contracted a rare, but deadly antibiotic-resistant bug - leading to severe infection.
She was in critical condition for nearly a week before passing away Wednesday morning.