Skin therapy left woman's face scarred
A COMPLAINT about a beauty therapist who performed a skin rejuvenation treatment on a woman that resulted in burning, facial swelling and blisters has been upheld by the Health and Disability Commissioner.
The investigation revealed that the therapist had only two days' training with an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) machine before she used it on the woman and her clinic had no policy on obtaining patient information or providing aftercare.
In September 2012 the woman went to a beauty clinic to have IPL treatment.
She signed a consent form which said the possible side-effects of the treatment included blisters and burning.
The treatment went ahead and during the process the woman told the therapist her face was burning. She also repeated that she was in pain during the session. The therapist responded that the sensation was "normal".
Afterwards the woman's face continued to burn and she developed swelling and blisters. She sought medical treatment and cancelled her future IPL treatments.
She later complained to the HDC about the quality of her treatment, saying she had been left with scars on her face.
After an investigation, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Theo Baker released a report into the woman's care yesterday, upholding her complaint and making a number of recommendations in relation to the therapist.
She said that by failing to obtain adequate information about the woman's medical history, provide after-care information and carry out a skin patch test, the therapist did not provide her with appropriate care and skill and therefore breached the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers.
Ms Baker found that the clinic the woman was treated at did not have any policies regarding obtaining history, providing aftercare information or skin testing before treatment, making it "vicariouslyliable".
"As a health services consumer [the woman] was entitled to have services provided with reasonable care and skill. My independent expert adviser advised me that [the therapist's] treatment ... fell short of accepted standards in a number of areas," Ms Baker said.
She noted that the therapist had apologised to the woman and recommended she undertake further training on how to use the IPL machine and provide evidence to the HDC that she has done so within three months.