A Las Vegas woman reportedly posed as a nurse and performed dangerous “vampire facials” on patients.
Maria Sabata Gutierrez, 49, was arrested on November 18, two months after a woman appeared in hospital with “swelling and pain in her face and head, and bumps in her mouth.”
She said she had a vampire facial, a beauty treatment that involves injecting blood into the face to activate collagen cells, from a woman named Maria who had been driving to clients’ homes since March or April to perform them.
“(The customer) described the facials as Gutierrez drawing blood from (the customer’s) arm,” said Las Vegas police.
“The blood would then be put into a machine that separated the blood, it would then be re-injected into her face.”
A vampire facial typically costs around $ 1,000 (£ 750) when performed by a licensed medical professional, but Gutierrez only charged her clients $ 200 (£ 150).
“In addition to the Vampire Facials, (the client) was also given a similar procedure where her blood was re-injected into her buttocks,” police added.
Only licensed nurses under the supervision of a physician should perform vampire facial treatments.
Witnesses say Gutierrez always wore scrubs and carried a backpack with supplies and a blood centrifuge when he treated customers.
She allegedly told a woman she worked for a medical office where she regularly performed the facials, but lost her license and tried to get it back.
When a concerned doctor treated the woman with side effects named Gutierrez, she said she was a trained nurse who ‘operated from her trunk’ with equipment ordered online in Mexico.
The doctor told Gutierrez to stop performing the facials and informed the police, who began an undercover operation.
The police posed as customers and arranged a meeting with Gutierrez, who explained how the procedure worked.
They made an appointment and the next day Gutierrez was arrested. While in custody, she admitted she is not a registered nurse and has performed vampire facials on 50 or 60 people, it is alleged.
She was charged with providing a dangerous drug without a prescription, acting as an unlicensed physician, possessing to sell drugs, and acting as an unlicensed nurse.
A preliminary hearing on the case is scheduled for March 2021.
If performed without proper safety precautions, the vampire face – made popular by Kim Kardashian – can lead to infections and has even been linked to cases of HIV.