Chinese streaming star dies after botched liposuction leads to infection with flesh-eating bacteria

·2-min read
Representational: The influencer developed a flesh eating bacterial infection following the liposuction surgery (AFP via Getty Images)
Representational: The influencer developed a flesh eating bacterial infection following the liposuction surgery (AFP via Getty Images)

A botched liposuction led to the death of a Chinese social media influencer after she suffered a two-month-long battle with a serious skin infection because of the procedure.

Xiao Ran, as she was known online, had a following of 130,000 on the Chinese social media platform Weibo and posted fashion and lifestyle-related content. The influencer’s second name was reported to be Dai. The 33-year-old received surgery 2 May to remove fat from around her waist and belly as well as to enlarge her breasts, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

Two days after the surgery at a clinic in the eastern province of Zhejiang, she complained about severe body pain and was reportedly fighting medical shock, a condition that can be the result of a lack of blood flow, after which doctors found she was suffering from multiple organ failure.

She was diagnosed with a skin tissue infection and a flesh-eating disease called necrotising fasciitis, which occurs when bacteria enter the body through a break in the skin. According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this bacterial infection spreads quickly in the body and can cause death.

Following the diagnosis, she spent two months in an intensive care unit at a hospital and underwent two surgeries as part of the treatment against the bacterial infection, but was declared dead on Tuesday last week.

Dai’s family has since raised questions over the qualifications of the junior doctor who performed the liposuction procedure. Rules set out by the state health authorities demand that surgeries involving the removal of 2,000ml of fat or more should be done by a senior doctor.

Responding to the allegations, the health commission of Hangzhou city said the clinic must suspend its business practices and compensate the victim’s family.

“Huayan Medical Cosmetics lacked proper understanding of the surgery before carrying it out, had incorrect practices during the operation and did not provide timely treatment following the surgery. Its mistakes have caused the death of the victim ,” the commission said in a statement quoted by SCMP.

This isn’t the first time in China that a death has been reported from liposuction, a cosmetic surgical procedure where excess fat deposits in the body are removed. Earlier in October last year, a 21-year-old woman in Changzhou city of eastern China’s Jiangsu province died while in the middle of a breast and nose augmentation surgery, according to SCMP.

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