Dangers of Injectables Performed in Homes

There are some things, as they say, that should never be tried at home. And one of those things is offering, or having, cosmetic injectables in a home environment.

The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS) has issued a warning after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) advised that it had received reports of home-based beauty salons administering unapproved substances purporting to be the anti-wrinkle injectable Botulinum toxin (known in Australia under brand names Botox, Dysport and Xeomin).

“The College is deeply concerned about reports of unapproved substances such as those purporting to be Botulinum toxin to reduce wrinkles, a restricted drug only available through a prescription issued by a doctor, are being purchased online and imported by individuals and used in Australia in home-based or other businesses, “ says ACCS President Dr Ron Bezic.

“The ACCS strongly warns Australians against receiving cosmetic medical treatments from home-based businesses, which may also be using unapproved substances purchased on the Internet.

“The complications arising from using such unapproved substances by untrained persons can be very serious.

“The College has previously relayed its concerns about these reports to the TGA and other health care regulators. We have worked closely with the TGA about this very serious risk to patient safety and are pleased that its concerns are being thoroughly investigated by the TGA.”

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved only three versions of Botulinum toxin for importation and use in Australia (brands mentioned above), which are produced and supplied according to very strict standards.

“The College strongly advises anyone considering having a cosmetic procedure to first consult with an appropriately trained doctor,” Dr Bezic adds.

This is valuable information for salon, spa and clinic professionals who may come across clients who are seeking these treatments of Schedule 4 products by unauthorised operators – largely because of cheaper prices being offered.

It adds to your professionalism and credibility by being able to warn them of the danger they are putting themselves in.

Products bought off the internet may prove to be toxic or cause severe inflammation or infection. An inexperienced – indeed, even untrained – injector can also cause injuries such as nerve damage if they do not have a thorough knowledge of anatomy.

As more salons, spas and clinics join forces with doctors and nurses to offer injectables, it’s important to understand the rules.

The arrangement most businesses have is that a doctor or nurse will attend the spa or clinic at semi-regular intervals, with customers being given plenty of notice so as to schedule appointments.

However, it’s far from a simple transaction. The suspension last year by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal of a nurse who was performing anti-wrinkle and dermal filler injections in a spa environment brought into sharp focus the dos and don’ts of non-medical aesthetics businesses venturing onto that turf.

In its decision on June 12, 2014, the tribunal suspended the nurse’s registration

to practise, finding her “guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and serious misconduct” for the spa.

Injectables are medical procedures with strict protocols to be observed for the protection of all involved.

Dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injectables such as Xeomin, Dysport and Botox are listed as Schedule 4 medications under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 (NSW).

So as a business owner you must not only have a sound understanding of the laws to abide by when offering injectables as part of your service, but the qualifications, expertise and experience of the doctor or nurse you are bringing into your business.

SPA+CLINIC was recently told of a clinic owner who engaged the services of a doctor to perform injectables only to later discover that the doctor was no longer licensed to practise.

“A spa or clinic owner should check out the doctor’s CV and assess where the training has taken place and what that training has been,” says Dr John Flynn, censor in chief of the ACCS.

“You cannot just accept that because they have a medical degree they are automatically across the injectables arena and it certainly does not necessarily mean they are skilled.

“The college would advise to see if the doctor is a member of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery or one of the other professional groups within the discipline of cosmetic medical practice.”

Registered nurses are legitimately able to inject anti-wrinkle preparations and dermal fillers.

However, because these are scheduled (ie. restricted) products they must be prescribed by a doctor and a client must first been seen by a doctor to ensure their health fitness and suitability for the procedure.

Before anyone can have anti-wrinkle and dermal filler injections, a doctor must prescribe them and work out an appropriate treatment plan for the individual.

The registered nurse involved in the treatment needs to have current registration, adequate training in the procedure and the prescribing doctor needs to be satisfied with his/her qualifications.

Under Australian law and Medical Board guidelines, nurses are not permitted to administer such treatments unless supervised by a doctor.

The prescribing doctor needs to provide written instructions or orders and supervise the treatment administered by the registered nurse.

Other factors to consider are creating an appropriately clinical, sterile environment within your premises. Injecting should not be carried out alongside treatments such as waxing, nails or even facials.

Questions clients should be asking themselves (and of the proposed injector):

  • Did you receive an appropriate consultation by a qualified medical practitioner?
  • Will the treatment be provided under the supervision of a medical practitioner?
  • Has the product been evaluated by the TGA for safety and quality, and stored appropriately?
  • If I suffer an adverse reaction or am not satisfied with the treatment, am I able to again consult with the medical practitioner who is supervising and taking responsibility for my treatment?

For more information and advice visit ACCS.ORG.AU


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