A 55-year-old Spanish woman who underwent bee-sting therapy has died after developing a severe reaction. The woman within weeks after the treatment as she suffered from multiple organ failures. The death case of this Spanish woman is reported in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology by doctors from the allergy division of University Hospital, Madrid.
Even though celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow are proponents of this form of treatment, researchers who studied this death case reveal that live bee acupuncture is unsafe and unadvisable. According to researchers, this is the first death reported due to this mode of treatment among people who are previously intolerant to stings.
The deceased woman had been undergoing treatment in an apitherapy clinic for the past two years to improve muscular contractures and stress. During the session last month, she developed wheezing, shortness of breath, and sudden loss of consciousness immediately after a live bee sting.
'As soon as the woman fell ill, she was given steroid medication, but no adrenaline was available at that time. Even the ambulance arrived after 30 minutes of her collapse which worsened the condition. It was later revealed that the woman had no pre-existing conditions like asthma or heart diseases.
According to the researchers, anaphylaxis induced organ failure was the reason behind the woman's death. The researchers also warned people to fully understand the dangers of apitherapy before undergoing treatment.
"The risks of undergoing apitherapy may exceed the presumed benefits, leading us to conclude that this practice is both unsafe and unadvisable," said Ricardo Madrigal-Burgaleta, one of the authors of the study, BBC reports.
As the death news of the woman surfaced, Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services for Allergy UK said that the public need to well aware of the unorthodox use of allergens such as bee venom.
"The public need to be very aware of the unorthodox use of allergens such as bee venom. This will come with risk and, in susceptible individuals, can lead to serious life-threatening reactions," said Amena Warner.
Even though experts have raised continuous warning the popularity of the treatment is increasing in all corners of the globe. Apitherapy is a treatment which makes use of substances from honeybees, such as honey, propolis, royal jelly, or even venom to treat various medical conditions including arthritis.