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Spanish woman dies from bee sting acupuncture

A 55-year-old woman has died after undergoing a bizarre form of acupuncture that involves being stung by bees.

The unnamed patient, from Spain, attended a session of apitherapy every four weeks for more than two years without any allergic reactions.

However, she suffered an anaphylactic shock to the venom, which led to a coma and multiple organ failure. She passed away weeks later in a Madrid hospital. 

It comes months after Hollywood actor Gerard Butler admitted in October that he suffered a life-threatening reaction to the bee sting therapy.

And actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has faced backlash for controversial health advice on her Goop website, has also tried the ancient health treatment. 

The unnamed patient, from Spain, attended four sessions of apitherapy – bee sting therapy – for more than two years without any allergic reactions

The woman’s death, revealed in the Journal of Investigational Allerology and Clinical Immunology, raises questions about the strange procedure.

Apitherapy is the use of substances from honeybees, including honey, propolis and royal jelly. If their venom is used, the bee dies.

It involves a therapist holding a bee by its head and pinching it until the bee’s stinger emerges and punctures the patient’s skin. Substances can also be injected. 

There is very little evidence to suggest apitherapy can treat any condition, despite claims it can cure arthritis, multiple sclerosis and stress.

The new case report adds to the dangers of the treatment, which is rare in Britain, although it is more widespread in the US.

However, her death has baffled experts because it was the first time she experienced an allergic reaction – despite undergoing four sessions a week for two years.

It comes months after Hollywood actor Gerard Butler admitted in October that he suffered a life-threatening reaction to the bee sting therapy

It comes months after Hollywood actor Gerard Butler admitted in October that he suffered a life-threatening reaction to the bee sting therapy

And actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has faced backlash for controversial health advice on her Goop website, has also tried the ancient health treatment

And actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has faced backlash for controversial health advice on her Goop website, has also tried the ancient health treatment

WHAT IS APITHERAPY? 

Apitherapy is the use of substances from honeybees, including honey, propolis and royal jelly. If their venom is used, the bee dies.

It involves a therapist holding a bee by its head and pinching it until the bee’s stinger emerges and punctures the patient’s skin. Substances can also be injected. 

There is very little evidence to suggest apitherapy can treat any condition, despite claims it can cure arthritis, multiple sclerosis and stress.

Hollywood actor Gerard Butler admitted in October that he suffered a life-threatening reaction to the bee sting therapy.

And actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has faced backlash for controversial health advice on her Goop website, has also tried the ancient health treatment. 

Doctors have now called for patients to be ‘fully informed of the dangers’ before they undergo the procedure, which is common in Korea.

The patient, whose identity has been witheld, started having breathing difficulties and suddenly lost consciousness after being stung. 

She was rushed to the Ramon y Cajal University Hospital midway through a session, wrote medics Paula Vazquez-Revuelta and Ricardo Madrigal-Burgaleta.

Doctors battled to revive her – but didn’t provide her anaphylaxis until 30 minutes after her reaction because of a delay getting her to hospital.

Tests later revealed her anaphylactic shock to the bee venom had triggered a stroke and left her in a ‘permanent coma’.  

Attempts to keep her alive proved unsuccessful. Writing in the journal, the medics said: ‘The patient died some weeks later of multi-organ failure.

‘Persistent hypotension during severe anaphylaxis had caused a massive watershed stroke and permanent coma with multi-organ impairment. 

‘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.’ 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk