Police Investigate Stepping Hill Hospital Saline Poisoning Deaths
Police are now investigating the deaths of 2 patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Greater Manchester. These deaths are only the most recent 2, bringing the total number of possible victims to 5. Detectives were examining the deaths of the previous 3 patients after insulin was deliberately added to their saline solution, leading to them being poisoned.
Rebecca Leighton, a 27-year-old nurse working at the hospital, was reportedly arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder in the deaths of Tracey Arden, 44; Arnold Lancaster, 71; and George Keep, 84; according to police. One of the latest patients to have become a victim is an 83-year-old man, who died on Thursday after having a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episode on July 11. The other is an 84-year-old woman, who doesn’t have an established cause of death yet.
Police say that hospital staff contacted them on July 12 for the first time after saline solution was found contaminated with insulin, which meant an unusual amount of patients had low blood sugar levels. The hospital has now put strict security measures in place amid worries that other patients could have been affected by sabotaged medical supplies. This follows police saying last week that another 11 people are thought to have been affected.
Hospital chief executive Chris Burke said last Friday that it was staff at the hospital who revealed the matter, and he’s asked them to continue being extra vigilant to safeguard patients. They have increased security in terms of access to medications and the hospital itself, as well as replaced all saline vials throughout the hospital.