A BRITISH student died from a heart attack after having an illegal silicone buttock enhancement procedure performed in a budget hotel room while she was on holiday in the US.
Philadelphia police are searching for whoever administered the injections to Claudia Aderotimi, 20, from London, who is thought to have had the operation as a present for her 21st birthday.
It is believed that she had contact with either the “doctors” or a fixer on the internet before she and three British friends travelled to the US. It is understood that she paid $US2000 to have the silicone injections.
Ms Aderotimi complained of acute chest pains and breathing problems about 1am on Tuesday. She was taken to a hospital and died there later.
The regional medical examiner said yesterday the preliminary cause of death was that the silicone had caused a cardiac arrest. A full post-mortem examination is being carried out today.
It is not known whether her 20-year-old friend, who also underwent the procedure in the hotel, suffered any problems caused by the injections, which can have lethal effects up to three days after being administered.
One theory being explored by police is whether Ms Aderotimi and her friend were given industrial silicone rather than medical silicone. The investigation is focusing on whether Ms Aderotimi had been enticed into having the procedure by an organised gang of back-street “surgeons”.
The people who administered the injections were reported to have fled the Hampton Hill Hotel, near Philadelphia airport, when they realised that she was severely ill. One woman who police think set up the meeting has been questioned but not arrested.
Last night Ms Aderotimi’s mother was too distressed to talk about what had happened. Relatives arrived at the family home on a council estate in Hackney, northeast London.
Ms Aderotimi’s sister, Vivian, wept as she said: “We found out yesterday. We’re still in shock. We need to think about what we have to do.”
Neighbours described Ms Aderotimi as a beautiful young woman. They were bewildered that she had decided to undergo the procedure. It is thought that she had visited America in November for a similar operation.
The student, who is registered as having been born in Westminster in February 1990, was travelling on a Nigerian passport when she flew with her three friends on Saturday. The friends are all in their 20s.
At least two of the women were said to have been planning to travel to New York to celebrate a birthday, possibly Ms Aderotimi’s, next week. The friends had checked in to the hotel before the two “doctors” arrived on Monday.
There are numerous companies across America offering cheap surgery for women who want enhanced buttocks. Demand for the procedure has been influenced by celebrities said to have had it done, including the socialite Kim Kardashian.
Ms Aderotimi’s three friends remained in the US last night and were helping police to identify the people who performed the injections.
Tanya Little, a spokesman for Philadelphia Police, said: “We have launched a large-scale investigation involving Delaware County medical examiner’s office, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, the US Food and Drug Administration and the UK embassy.
“We can confirm that she had undergone a cosmetic procedure involving some type of injection to her buttocks.”
She added that the hotel was not being investigated or linked to the illegal operation.
The silicone injection procedure was described by one of Britain’s leading plastic surgeons, Rajiv Grover, as “like playing Russian roulette”.