An acupuncturist practicing in Southern California could face having is medical license suspended by state regulators who are claiming that he didn’t have the necessary kit in his office to treat any patients who suffered an adverse reaction to the bee sting therapy he provides.
Xin Sheng “Tom” Zhou, the acupuncturist in question, has been using bee sting therapy for a range of ailments and chronic conditions in his practice in Alhambra, using methods which have been used throughout eastern Asian since as early as 2nd century B.C.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Acupuncture Board filed their accusation against Zhou back in July.
The board’s claim is that Zhou was repeatedly grossly negligent in administering bee strings to his patients without having an emergency response kit to hand if patients suffered a severe allergic reaction.
“The use of a bee stinger as the delivery mechanism of venom is not within the standard of care and is considered to be an extreme departure from the standard of care,” states the medical board’s complaint.
Zhou’s attorney however argued in defense of his client that no patients had suffered a severe reaction, stating that the therapy was indeed safe.
“The board’s biggest problem is the use of the bee stinger,” said Zhou’s attorney, John Dratz Jr.
“They don’t have a problem with bee venom. Bee sting therapy is the most effective way to deliver it historically, and it’s still being used.”
The FDA however have so far not approved bee sting therapy, saying that there isn’t enough data for satisfy either it’s safety or effectiveness at the present time.
Dratz said that in the event that one of Zhou’s patients did have an allergic reaction he would administer either herbal medicine and acupuncture or an EpiPen to treat them.
Despite the accusations leveled against him, Zhou’s practice is as busy as ever.