Alternative Medicine

San Diego woman dies after turmeric infusion

A San Diego woman who died in March had visited a naturopathic practitioner who administered an IV of turmeric solution to treat eczema, authorities said. Jade Erick, 30, became unresponsive after Dr. Jim Kelly began administering 250 mL of the mixture at his office, NBC 7 reported.

Kelly administered CPR and called 911 for Erick, who was later diagnosed with “severe anoxic brain injury secondary to cardiopulmonary arrest, most likely due to turmeric infusion,” an autopsy released on Thursday revealed. A medical examiner’s report listed food allergies to soy protein, lactose and gluten, as well as hypothyroidism and pre-diabetes, but it was not clear if any of that contributed to her death, NBC 7 reported. She died after six days of hospitalization.

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Turmeric is used by naturopathic doctors to treat inflammatory issues like arthritis, though it was Erick’s first time having it infused, NBC 7 reported. Her mother reportedly told investigators that she had used it in capsule form.

“I’m not trying to imply defending him or being critical,” Steve Schechter, a naturopathic practitioner who knows Kelly, told NBC 7. “Every doctor, every therapist I know at times, has made mistakes, every person I know has used things correctly and you get that incredibly small percent of people who are hyper-reactive.”

Erick’s death is being ruled accidental, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department told NBC 7 they’re not involved in any criminal investigation. No administrative charges have been filed regarding Kelly’s death.