News has just broken of an underground clinic being shut down after being found illegally offering injectables out of a jewellery store in Melbourne. It is reported that over 140 patients received treatment there since January 2018, possibly exposing clients to serious viruses including HIV.
Sonoun Kimlee Salon, operating within Springvale Shopping Centre, was said to be offering clients filler, mole removal, tattoos and skin rejuvenation. The local council were alerted by shopping centre customers that noticed shoppers leaving the jewellery store with bloody faces and bandages. Official inspections are said to have found extremely unsanitary conditions including cockroach-infested medical equipment.
“This is one of the worst we’ve seen in Victoria in terms of [hygiene] practices and certainly one of the greatest risks for transmission of infection,” said Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton. “There appeared to be no evidence of cleaning or disinfection. There were cockroaches on medical equipment and it’s pretty evident that the risk of infection was substantial.”
“If you, or someone you know, had cosmetic procedures at this salon, see your doctor as soon as possible to have a blood test,” Dr Sutton said.
The Department of Health and Human Services reportedly reached out to nearly 70 patients known to receive treatment at the Springvale ‘clinic’.
The story has sparked the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) to issue a warning to patients not to put themselves in dangerous situations.
“If someone offering cosmetics injectable treatments isn’t being transparent about their business, what else are they hiding?” said Dr Naveen Somia, President of ASAPS. “This story is disturbing on so many levels. The complete disregard for the rules and the risk to patient safety are frightening. What the story highlights is, when doctors and nurses fail to play by the rules, patients get hurt.”
“The list of breaches includes poor hygiene standards, possible fraudulent products being injected into patients, questionable training and a lack of qualifications by the person administering the treatments.”
ASAPS reiterates the story highlighting the urgent need for more stringent regulation in the cosmetic medicine arena — something that ASAPS has been petitioning about Federal and State Governments for several years.
“Thankfully, in this instance, the authorities were alerted, and this operation has been closed down. But it just goes to show that without adequate regulation and enforcement, there are unscrupulous operators who are willing to place patients at risk,” Dr Somia said.
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