Reporting Stephanie Stahl
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) - Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Health went to the Monarch Med Spa in King of Prussia, Montgomery County today as concern grows over an outbreak of Group A Streptococcus.
One woman has died. Now questions are being raised about regulations governing facilities like Med Spa.
Med Spa staff refused to answer questions, asked us to leave their property and called the police.
The state health department’s investigation follows the death of a patient who had liposuction at a Monarch facility in Maryland.
The woman contracted an invasive type-A strep infection and 2 other patients have been hospitalized.
Health officials say two more liposuction patients treated at the King Of Prussia facility also contracted the bacterial infection.
Officials say medical personnel work at both Med Spa’s Pennsylvania and Maryland locations and could have spread the infection.
“Any kind of bacteria that got on them at one site can be carried to another site,” said Bala Cynwyd plastic surgeon Tim Greco.
Dr. Greco performs surgery in his office and because he uses intravenous medications his office has to pass yearly health inspections.
But that’s not the case for Monarch, according to officials who say because Monarch doesn’t use I-V drugs, it’s not regulated or inspected by the health department.
“Restaurants have to go through that, why shouldn’t places doing more invasive procedures have a similar protocol,” says Dr. Greco.
Liposuction and other surgeries can be performed with sedative and pain pills and lidocaine injections.
Monarch patients are being warned to watch out for infections.
The brother of the patient who died did not want to be identified but he had this to say, “Terrible, this is awful, this is horrific and something has to be done to stop this from happening.”
Experts say there’s no way for patients to know about safety if they choose to go to a facility that’s not regulated or inspected.
Monarch says it’s cooperating with the investigation and that patient safety is its primary concern.