Friday, September 21, 2012
Thailand - 'Sleeping beauty' model prompts crackdown on Thai beauty clinics
The severe illness of a Thai model who suffers from "sleeping beauty syndrome" after she had a collagen injection to smooth out her hips, prompted public health authorities yesterday to order a crackdown on illegal beauty clinics.
Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri said he has instructed the Health Service Support Department (HSSD) to inspect and strictly control beauty and aesthetic clinics nationwide.
Clinic operators who are found to be giving beauty injections without medical licenses will serve jail sentences, he added.
The crackdown comes after the Public Health Ministry learned of a 33-year-old female promotional model who became severely ill after she received a collagen injection at a condominium in Bangkok's Lat Phrao area from a man who claimed he was a doctor.
She developed a severe complication five minutes after receiving an injection of collagen solution to smooth out wrinkles in her hip. Her heart stopped beating and her brain was damaged due to lack of oxygen. She is now undergoing medical treatment at a private hospital for what's been diagnosed as "sleeping beauty syndrome", or Kleine-Levin syndrome, a neurological disorder characterised by excessive sleep.
"Legal experts and health officials are now investigating the cause of the severe illness of a promotional model," said Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, the HSSD's deputy director general.
Injecting collagen or other substances into your body in an effort to keep looking young might cause adverse side effects and even death, Dr Tares added. Side effects include inflamed skin, blood clots, low blood pressure, organ failure, shock, paralysis and blindness.
Dr Atthaphan Pornmontarath, president of the Thai Association and Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and Medicine, said most cases in which complications have developed from collagen injections were because the solution was made from animal protein or because too much was used.
Patients seeking aesthetic treatments should ask the clinic's doctor to show his or her medical license. They should also ask to see the label of the collagen solution, which must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Dr Amnart Kusalanant, president of the Medical Council of Thailand, said the council is checking the records of the man who claimed that he was a physician and injected the model.
"If we find that he was a fake doctor, he will face two years in jail as punishment," Dr Amnart said. "It's a violation of the Medical Professional Act."
The Medical Council also called on the public for help in identifying the man.