The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) sent out a media release early this week after Saturday’s Daily Telegraph reported the case of a beauty salon nurse who was caught giving anti-wrinkle injections in an unsterile environment without appropriate supervision. Proving once again that there are still rogue practitioners without their patient’s best interests at heart, this practitioner was also said to have no idea of possible side effects of the injections and prompted ASAPS to remind consumers of the importance of ensuring their practitioner was appropriately experienced and qualified to be performing treatments.
This year has certainly had a spotlight put on the aesthetics industry with the first documented case of a filler treatment causing blindness in a patient and continued reports of botched injectables in patients where the practitioner has little to no knowledge of how to perform the treatment. Dr Naveen Somia, President of ASAPS said in the media release, “This case is alarming as it highlights there are people performing injectable treatments with little to no knowledge of how to effectively and safely administer the procedure and, even more worryingly, the person in this situation was not able to explain the signs and symptoms of a client who was having a severe anaphylactic reaction to a dermal filler.”
ASAPS are strong advocates for national regulations of the aesthetics industry and recently submitted their opinion to the NSW Ministry of health about what needed to be done to protect patients when it comes to aesthetic treatments and procedures including anti-wrinkle and filler injections. Dr Somia says, “As a sentinel of the cosmetic surgery and non-surgical industry, ASAPS is uniquely positioned to outline the guidelines for safe injectable treatments and to work alongside practitioners to provide training and development opportunities to ensure their skills and practice stay within the realm of safety.”
The recent development of a Cosmetic Alliance Group (CMA) between key stakeholder groups in the aesthetics industry will also hopefully help to establish a Best Practice framework for cosmetic medicine practitioners to strive towards putting patient safety as a priority.
Accredited training and ongoing professional development
ASAPS says there should be accredited training and ongoing professional development for all practitioners, nurses, doctors and surgeons performing any injectable procedure to ensure patient safety. Dr Somia says, “We want there to be a dedicated training and credentialing program in the area of injectable cosmetic treatments to ensure that people performing these procedures are capable of not only achieving results for patients, but that patient safety is upheld every single time an injection is made.”
Unfortunately, this minority number of rogue practitioners are tainting the image of the aesthetics industry as a whole, however the last year or two has also seen an increased awareness of their existence and a renewed commitment to expose them and educate patients.
Hopefully, continued coverage, exposure and discussion about these dodgy practitioners will push the regulators into more urgent action to ensure patient safety is at the top of everyone’s agenda.
To read the full ASAPS Media Release and see the ASAPS Recommendations on Prescription Safety click here.