Thanks to Newsweek for this:
A woman’s blood and urine turned the color of soy sauce after she was attacked by a swarm of wasps, who delivered almost 50 stings to her head and neck.
The unnamed woman, from China’s Sichuan province, arrived at the emergency room of the First Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu Medical College after being attacked by a swarm of wasps.
Doctors examining her recorded 47 stings, with several of them bleeding, China’s state-run news agency China News Service reported.
The woman was admitted to hospital and doctors found she had developed acute renal failure, liver failure and coagulation failure—where the body loses the ability to control blood clotting. She was also suffering from acute rhabdomyolysis—where muscle tissue breaks down—and acute hemolysis—which is when red blood cells are broken down.
Doctors treating the woman said she almost died. “It feels like I walked around a ghost gate. I really want to thank these medical staff for pulling me back,” the woman told China News Service.
In the U.S., about 60 people die from wasp, hornet or bee stings every year.
While most stings cause pain and swelling, some people suffer severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis. If untreated, this can result in difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue and throat, a weak and rapid pulse and loss of consciousness.
When a person suffers from multiple stings, as in the case of the woman from China, they can become ill from the accumulation of venom.
Guo Chuan, director of the Department of Critical Care Medicine, where the woman was treated, told China News Service that the woman was transferred to the intensive care unit. “At this time, the patient’s urine became soy sauce-colored,” he said, adding the woman went into shock and lost consciousness.
Doctors treated the woman with plasma exchange, where the patient’s blood is cleaned outside the body. This allowed them to remove the poison from her system. In total, the woman had three plasma exchanges, which doctors said is equivalent to the blood in her body being exchanged twice.
After three days her condition started to improve and her urine returned to a normal color.
Over the last few decades, wasp sting-related hospitalizations have increased in China.