4 Hong Kong women critically ill after blood transfusion therapy

HONG KONG - A woman in Hong Kong underwent a blood transfusion, all in the name of beauty.

This blood transfusion is normally used to prolong the survival rate of cancer patients after surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, and involves a transfusion of specially processed blood.

The unnamed woman, 59, was admitted to hospital with complications arising from the therapy.

She is the fourth woman to be taken seriously ill after undergoing the same blood transfusion therapy, Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

Two other women, aged 46 and 56, who were admitted on Wednesday and Thursday, remain in critical condition in Hong Kong's Ruttonjee Hospital.

The third, a 60-year-old woman, is also in hospital. All of them suffered septic shock, a result of a severe infection.

DR beauty clinic, where the therapy was done, is now under investigation by police and health officials. The clinic has 42 outlets in Hong Kong, SCMP reported.

The three critically ill women paid HK$60,000 (S$9,500) to HK$80,000 each, the police said. It is not known how much the fourth woman paid. The report quoted a Hong Kong Department of Health spokesman as saying that investigation revealed that a total of 44 people have undergone the treatment, known as DC-CIK, for cosmetic reasons.

The spokesman confirmed that all the procedures were done by a registered medical practitioner.

On Friday, detectives took away syringes and other medical waste from the beauty chain's two laboratories.

Dr Ko Wing Man, secretary for Food and Health, said the seriousness of these cases had stunned him.

He believed the treatment would count as a "medical procedure" and had to be done by a doctor or under the authority of one.

Dr Stephen Chow Heung Wing, who founded the clinic in 1995, had said in a video interview that the extraction and re-injection of stem cells for clients was "very effective" for enlarging breasts or rejuvenating facial skin.

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