According to some reports, a woman in Spain has unfortunately died after a bee stung her during a session of apitherapy, or “bee therapy”. This is an unusual acupuncture treatment which uses products made by honeybees. These include bee venom, which is famous for treating problems like arthritis, muscle aches and even burns. One of the people supporting this treatment is Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow. However, a special kind of apitherapy, live bee acupuncture, is what killed the 55-year old woman.
She wanted a treatment for her muscle contractions and for stress. The procedure involves placing live bees on the patient’s body and waiting for the bees to stung it and inject their venom. It’s interesting that the woman had been receiving this live bee treatment each month over the past two years. According to the case study which the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology recently published, she never displayed any ill effects. However, her last treatment also brought a severe allergic reaction with it. She immediately fell into a coma and a few weeks later died of multiple organ failure.
Woman dies because of live bee sting acupuncture
It’s worth noting that experts were not taken by surprise by this sad event. Actually, previous reaction-free therapies do not mean that patients are safe. Moreover, it seems that repeated exposure to the allergen increased the risk of such reactions. According to the study’s authors, this is probably the first death caused by live sting bee therapy due to severe anaphylaxis.
Previous studies have shown that about 30% of people going through this kind of therapy experience side effects at one point. The authors of the news study are saying that the risks of apitherapy might exceed the benefits. So, people need to be extra careful when they decide to undergo such treatments.
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