Track Runner Dies From Muscle Cream Use

By: Shari Loftley Email
By: Shari Loftley Email

Ariell Newman from Staten Island, New York was a star on her track team. She knew everything there was to know about track, but when it came to muscle creams used to help her legs recover, she was in the dark and she suffered some consequences.

Unfortunately, the young athlete died.

Muscle creams like Ben Gay and Icy Hot, which she was using, contain methyl salicylate.

The medical examiner ruled the 17-year-old died from acute salicylate intoxication. Saying, quote, "The substance was in several different products that she used. It was used to excess."

Alice Newman, the victim's mother, said, "My daughter was a very driven, motivated, smart teenager."

She went on to say that "they wouldn't use it during practice. They would just use it at a meet."

Which is why Newman was stunned to hear her daughter died from too much sports cream use.

Dr. Ronald Grelsamer at Mt. Sinai Hospital commented that, "This would be akin to drinking gallons of water. There's nothing wrong with water unless you're taking large amounts of it."

But the mother left behind says the facts just aren't adding up.

"I wasn't buying it. She had no money, she wasn't buying it, so I don't know why her levels were so elevated. She's gone because of something that is so ridiculous. It doesn't make any sense because we were never told this would a problem."

The early warning signs of salicylate poisoning can be easily missed; ringing in the ears, difficulty breathing, a fast heart rate.

These symptoms are normal for someone who runs track, according to Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Steve Weinfeld.

"When someone is exercising their metabolic and their exertional rate is significantly increased."

Weinfield went on to say, "The one thing we don't know in this case that I'm not aware of is whether this child was taking oral medications such as aspirin, which also contains salycilic acid."

The combination of oral aspirin plus the ointment could have led to toxic poisoning. will follow this story as it develops.

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