Woman died of infection after lipo procedure in Baltimore
Timonium, MD, United States (4E) – A woman died, while two others were hospitalized, due to bacterial infection after undergoing liposuction at a Baltimore County beauty clinic.
Maryland health officials responded immediately by shutting down last Wednesday the Monarch Med Spa located in Timonium as part of the query to identify the probable cause of infection and to prevent further bacterial transmission.
Investigators found various cases of possible deviations from standard infection control practices, according to the Washington Post.
The shut-down order, signed by Health Department Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein and Baltimore County Health Officer Gregory Wm. Branch concluded that “conditions at the Monarch Med Spa facility endanger the public health and that all operations at the facility should cease until the cause of the public health has abated,” reported Lutherville-Timonium Patch.
There are no details on the woman who died, but the other two have been released from hospitalization. The surgeries were done between mid-August and mid-September.
Officials were alerted by the University of Maryland’s infection-control unit last Monday after that three patients had contracted invasive streptococcal infections and that one of the three had expired as a result.
The women had Group A Streptococcus infection. Most such infections are relatively mild, but occasionally these bacteria can cause severe and even life-threatening diseases when they infect parts of the body where bacteria usually are not found, such as blood, muscle or the lungs. These infections are known as “invasive GAS disease.”
Individuals with skin lesions such as cuts, surgical wounds, chickenpox, the elderly and adults with a history of alcohol abuse or injection-drug use have a higher risk for developing invasive GAS disease.
Health authorities are encouraging people who used the facility and are having concerns about a subsequent infection to consult with their primary health-care providers. Symptoms include fever; redness at the wound site; abrupt onset of generalized or localized severe pain and swelling; progressive dizziness, weakness and confusion.
About 10 to 15 percent of patients diagnosed with the infection die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also stated that cosmetic surgery centers in Maryland are not currently subject to state licensure but is hoping to seek public opinion on potential approaches to oversee these facilities in the near future.
In a statement, Monarch Med Spa said the company has voluntarily agreed to suspend all procedures at its Timonium facility as a precautionary measure pending an investigation by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It also emphasized its primary concern for the safety and well-being of all of their patients, and extended deepest sympathy to the deceased patient’s family.
The company has three locations in Pennsylvania — King of Prussia, Philadelphia and Harrisburg — and another in Greenville, Delaware.
Federal statistics reported that over the past five years, an average of 189 cases of invasive GAS were reported annually in Maryland. About 9,000 to 11,500 cases of invasive GAS disease occur each year in the United States, resulting in 1,000 to 1,800 deaths.