Woman Dies After Receiving ‘Live Bee Sting Acupuncture’

There are many different ways that we can take care of our bodies. While many of us stick to the tried and true way like dieting and exercise, some people take it to a different level by trying more bizarre remedies like acupuncture. However, some of these more drastic measures may not be as safe as we think.

In fact, a woman in Spain recently died after she underwent a bizarre acupuncture therapy that used live bee stings instead of needles. Now, this case has raised questions and concerns about whether or not apitherapy, which is the unsubstantiated alternative medicine that harnesses honey bee products, is safe. According to this fatal case report, which was published in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology, doctors in Madrid reported that the 55-year-old patient had been receiving this bee acupuncture every four weeks over the course of two years in an effort to alleviate her stress. Other than that, the woman did not have a prior clinical record indicating any disease or allergy.

In the woman’s last session, she began wheezing and had difficulty breathing. Soon after that, she also lost consciousness. An ambulance was called to the scene, but by the time it got to her,  she was already in critical condition. According to the report, some hospital staff desperately tried to save the woman, but she ended up dying a few weeks after the session due to multiple organ failures.

“To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of death by bee venom apitherapy due to complications of severe anaphylaxis in a confirmed sensitized patient who was previously tolerant,”  Paula Vázquez-Revuelta of Ramon y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid, wrote in the study.


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