Bear Grylls, 45, is the first person that springs to mind when thinking about Britain’s most intrepid explorers. His military background – a British former SAS serviceman and honorary lieutenant-colonel – helped to shape his survival instinct. His willingness to throw himself into hostile environments has made him a TV sensation over the years. The man may seem invincible but he recently had a close shave with death.
Bear Grylls was saved by medics after a bee sting triggered a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Bear, who is allergic to bee stings, went into anaphylactic shock, which can prove fatal, while filming his new survival series Treasure Island.
Despite initially trying to shrug it off, the allergic reaction caused his face to swell up and he lost consciousness.
Medics brought the former SAS servicemen back from the brink after they injected him with an EpiPen.
As the NHS explained, most insect bites and stings are not serious and will get better within a few hours or days. However, as in Grylls’ case, they can cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
Bugs that bite or sting include wasps, hornets, bees, horseflies, ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs, spiders and midges.
According to the health body, symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Swollen face or mouth
A person’s skin or lips may also turn blue. Loss of consciousness is another common symptom.
According to the NHS, if an allergy leads to a severe allergic reaction, it affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.
Most mild bites or stings can be treated by doing the following:
- Remove the sting or tick if it’s still in the skin
- Wash the affected area with soap and water
- Apply a cold compress (such as a flannel or cloth cooled with cold water) or an ice pack to any swelling for at least 10 minutes
- Raise or elevate the affected area if possible, as this can help reduce swelling
- Avoid scratching the area, to reduce the risk of infection
- Avoid traditional home remedies, such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, as they’re unlikely to help
- Severe allergic reactions require immediate medical treatment, however, cautioned the health site.
The cast of Treasure Island were left dismayed by the survival expert’s life-threatening run-in.
Contestant Mano Shanmuganathan, who is a brain surgeon, spoke out to the Daily Star.
Shanmuganathan said: “The irony of Bear the survivalist being stung, having the potential of an allergic reaction, and needing to be treated with an EpiPen, was a bizarre moment. That was crazy!”
Bear previously had a close shave with bees while filming Born Survivor in Baja, California in 2016.
He was stung while trying to forage for honey, and had a similar, though milder, reaction.