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Inadequate information and medical back-up for patient undergoing chemical face peel (99HDC12013)
Download Inadequate information and medical back-up for patient undergoing chemical face peel (99HDC12013) (PDF 11Kb)
(99HDC12013, 21 May 2001)
Dermatologist ~ Standard of care
~ Face peel ~ Medical back-up ~ Information about procedure and
treatment options ~ Rights 4(3), 6(1)(b)
A 67-year-old woman complained that a dermatologist incorrectly
led her to believe that the trichloroacetic acid (TCA) face peel he
performed on her was a minor procedure.
Eleven days after the treatment the woman experienced a face rash
and was unable to contact the dermatologist or anyone else at his
practice. Although it was Boxing Day, she had been assured that she
would be able to contact someone over this period if necessary. The
rash was perioral dermatitis, a common reaction to the emollients
used during the healing process. Although the dermatologist had
given her detailed written information sheets, they contained no
reference to possible complications and risks.
The woman also complained that the dermatologist did not inform
her of the strength of the TCA used for the peel, and that he made
an erroneous claim that no treatment for sun damage would be
required for five years after the peel.
The dermatologist breached Right 4(3), as he should have ensured
medical back-up was available to his patients during his absence.
He also breached Right 6(1)(b), as he had not adequately explained
the expected risks and side effects of the peel, or the treatment
options available. However, the procedure itself was found to be
appropriate and carried out with skill and expertise.
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