State plans to change cosmetic injection rules

State plans to change cosmetic injection rules »Play Video
Lisa Kelly complained to the Oregon Medical Board after she found out the person who gave her a botox injection was not a licensed medical care provider.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Lisa Kelly hoped some cosmetic injections after a facelift would wipe away leftover wrinkles.

Instead, her face was left swollen and discolored.

Kelly started looking into the background of the woman who gave her the injections at her plastic surgeon’s office.

“She’s not anything. She’s got no license at all,” said Kelly.

When Kelly complained to the Oregon Medical Board, she received an alarming email:

“The Chief Investigator and our Medical Director have been considering your issue for some time and have concluded that, based on our statutes and rules, there is nothing in Oregon law that currently precludes anyone from administering... injections for cosmetic purposes...”

In May, the KATU Investigators brought that to the attention of State Rep. Mitch Greenlick of Portland, who co-chairs the State House Health Care Committee.

“I think that’s nonsense,” said Greenlick in May. “I think they’re misinterpreting what the laws are. I can’t believe any interpretation that says that’s not practicing medicine.”

Oregon Medical Board Executive Director Kathleen Haley says that could soon change.

“We’re looking at defining it as the practice of medicine,” she said. “So if someone is to do it who is not a licensed medical care provider, then the board could take action against them for the unauthorized practice of medicine.”

The KATU Investigators found that right now people with nothing but a cosmetology degree for doing hair, makeup and skin care are giving cosmetic injections in Oregon, and nobody knows how many are doing it.

The Oregon Medical Board says it’s “unclear whether or not [they] are working under any supervision.”

In Washington and California, the person doing the injections is required to be a state-certified nurse at the very least.

The Oregon Medical Board officially proposed new certifications this month, answering Lisa Kelly’s call for change.

“If something really bad happens, there’s going to be some problems,” said Kelly.

If you have a story for the KATU Investigators, send an email to investigators@katu.com