SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): A doctor accused of causing a patient’s death after an aesthetic treatment was handed three more charges under the Health Products Act on Tuesday (Dec 6), including two involving expired medication.
Chan Bingyi, 34, was first charged in court on Oct 11, 2022, over his alleged negligence for administering ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) intravenously to Lau Li Ting, 31, in March 2019, when there was no need to do so.
On Tuesday, Chan was accused of possessing expired injection ampoules of adrenaline and a heartburn relief drug at the Revival Medical & Aesthetics Centre at Esplanade Xchange in Bras Basah Road, in March 2019.
On March 18 that year, the Singaporean doctor also allegedly had three 500g bottles of J-Cain lidocaine cream at 10.56 per cent. The cream was an unregistered health product, court documents stated.
According to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), lidocaine is a medicine used to decrease or eliminate the feeling of pain. The authority said the inappropriate use of products with high concentrations of lidocaine can cause low blood pressure and dizziness.
On March 18, 2019, Chan allegedly had 21 1ml ampoules of adrenaline injection that expired on Jan 30 that year.
The Australia-based Healthdirect website states that adrenaline injections are used to treat severe allergic reactions. It says: “Adrenaline makes your heart beat faster, and your lungs breathe more efficiently. It causes the blood vessels to send more blood to the brain and muscles, increases your blood pressure, makes your brain more alert, and raises sugar levels in the blood to give you energy.”
On March 25, 2019, Chan is said to have had in his possession one 2ml injection ampoule of Shintamet – 150mg/ml cimetidine, that expired in October 2018.
HSA states on its website that cimetidine is used for the short-term relief of heartburn. Its side effects include headache, diarrhoea and dizziness.
Chan’s alleged use of EDTA on Lau on March 8, 2019, caused her to develop EDTA toxicity, which led to her cardiac arrest and eventual death.
EDTA is sometimes used as a medication for heavy metal toxicity. It is also a common ingredient in skin and body care products.
According to court documents, Chan allegedly administered the substance “at too high a concentration and too quickly”.
Lau was on life support for five days before she died on March 13. Doctors had told her family that her heart had stopped for some time and there was little activity in her brain.
Her family made a police report and reported the matter to the Ministry of Health. In an earlier statement, Dr David Loh, president of the Society of Aesthetic Medicine (Singapore), said: “Chelation therapy, where EDTA is administered intravenously, is not a field within aesthetic medicine.”
In chelation therapy, a chemical is injected into the bloodstream to remove heavy metals and minerals in the body.
The Singapore Medical Council’s database shows Chan is still registered as a medical practitioner.
A search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority reveals that he used to be a director at two companies – Revival Medical (International) and Revival Medical (Singapore).
He is represented by lawyer Adrian Wee from Characterist law firm, and his pre-trial conference will take place on Jan 11, 2023.
If convicted of causing Lau’s death by a negligent act not amounting to homicide, Chan can be jailed for up to two years and fined. For each charge under the Health Products Act, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $50,000.