Fraser Health recently learned that the operator of Fab Skin Care: 207-5481 Kingsway, Burnaby has been offering services that used an intravaginal device.

These services were advertised as “HIFU Vaginal Tightening”; and were not permitted as the operator is not a licensed health professional in BC. Fraser Health has ordered the operator to cease performing these activities and to remove the device from the premise of Fab Skin Care, and is monitoring compliance. Allegations have also been made that the operator used this device in sexual assault of at least one client; the RCMP are investigating.

Appropriate infection control measures were not used, including inadequate cleaning and disinfection of the device in use between clients. This included both use of low-level disinfection as opposed to high-level disinfection, and inconsistent use of a barrier on the device.

The risk associated with this exposure is difficult to fully quantify. HPV is known to persist on semi-critical medical devices after low-level disinfection procedures, whereas HIV and hepatitis B/C are much less likely to be persistent.1,2 There is some evidence to suggest that bacterial STIs may also be transmitted through inadequately cleaned devices.3 From available evidence, the risk of HPV exposure appears moderate, the risk of exposure to bacterial STIs is low, and the risk of exposure to HIV and hepatitis B/C is extremely low.

Accurate client lists were not available, and out of an abundance of caution, Fraser Health has issued a public notification for clients. If clients present to you after receipt of the above service, public health recommends they receive screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, and be counseled to use condoms while awaiting results. They should also continue HPV screening on their normal schedule, and any other STI screening routinely indicated as per their age and personal risk factors.

This information may be distressing for patients, particularly for any individuals who did not consent to this procedure; patients may need additional mental health supports. Fraser Health has a crisis line at 604-951-8855 or toll-free 1-877-820-7444, and also a culturally sensitive crisis line for Indigenous people at 1-800-KUU-US17 (1-800-588-8717). VictimLinkBC can also provide immediate crisis support for victims of sexual violence at 1-800-563-0808.

1Reprocessing Requirements for Ultrasound Probes. College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. Dec 2017.

2Routine Practices and Additional Precautions for Preventing the Transmission of Infection in Healthcare Settings. Public Health Agency of Canada. 2012.

3Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfection in Medical Ultrasound to Prevent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Transmission. BC PICNET. June 2016.

comments powered by Disqus