Experts applaud the HC judgment and demand swift action

New Delhi: Athar Rasheed’s case is not the first in which it has been claimed that a failed hair transplant resulted in death. Numerous instances of this kind have been documented in the past, but experts say there has been no action taken to address the problem of unqualified individuals performing surgical procedures. “We hope that the high court order pushes the governments to act urgently in this matter,” said Dr. Kabir Sardana, professor of dermatology at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. In a hair transplant, the doctor transfers hair follicles from the dense part of the head—typically the back or side—to the bald area. According to Dr. Sardana, the hair transplant industry has grown significantly over the last ten years, and a lot of people, including MBBS graduates, skin experts, plastic surgeons, dentists, and even those without a medical degree, are entering it. The doctor stated that the National Medical Council, which oversees medical education in the nation, has not established any rules on who is and is not permitted to perform hair transplants. In Rasheed’s instance, the petition claims that the transplant was performed at a hair studio by technicians for Rs 30,000. The 35-year-old was brought to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI) after experiencing severe scalp discomfort and edema of the face and shoulder shortly after. Rasheed experienced a severe skin response called Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which resulted in septic shock and multiple organ failure. Even though the technicians conducting the treatment in salons or numerous independent clinics may have acquired the technique, they sometimes lack the expertise necessary to handle any potential issues that can develop during the surgical procedure. According to Dr. Arun Gupta, head of the Delhi Medical Council, this is why we see incidents like these. The Delhi government has been working on a Bill to regulate clinical establishments across the capital, he continued, adding that we need guidelines on who can perform hair transplants and the necessary infrastructure for it. Dr. Swaroop Singh Gambhir, senior consultant of plastic and cosmetic surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said hair transplant was a surgical procedure requiring more than four hours per sitting. He said that people should be educated on where and who to pick, saying “It should only be conducted in dedicated nursing homes or hospitals.”

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