First Personal Injury

First Personal Injury

June 18, 2012 09:59 ET

Saline Incident at Stepping Hill Hospital

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 18, 2012) -


In July 2011 an investigation began at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport following a number of patients on the same ward experiencing low blood sugar levels. The investigation suggested that a number of saline ampoules and saline drips had been contaminated with insulin and this was believed to have lowered the blood sugar levels in the patients.

Insulin is often used as a treatment for diabetics but for people without an insulin deficiency, an increase in insulin can be poisonous to the body. It is suspected that due to the increased levels of insulin in the patients' bloodstreams, they beca1stme ill and fatalities sadly occurred.

It was believed that 6 deaths at the hospital between June and July 2011, were linked to the contaminated products. However it was later revealed that police are now investigating a total of 19 deaths at the hospital as possible victims of saline poisoning. A number of other patients are believed to have been poisoned in this way though most did not suffer fatal consequences.

A nurse namely Rebecca Leighton, was arrested on 20th July 2011 in connection with the murder inquiry. She was subsequently charged with three counts of criminal damage with intent to endanger life, three counts of criminal damage being reckless as to whether life was endangered and one charge of theft. However, charges were dropped on 2nd September 2011 and it was no longer thought appropriate to continue the case against her.

Approximately 650 people have been spoken to by officers during the investigation at the hospital since the saline drip contamination was discovered however, to date the Police investigations remain ongoing.

Clinical Negligence

Personal injury claims in the form of clinical negligence claims when a medical practitioner such as a doctor or nurse, or an institutional health provider, such as an NHS Trust or a private hospital, breaches its duty of care to the Claimant. The Claimant may seek legal advice following for example an adverse outcome from medical treatment, an unexpected injury or condition, a worsening of the original condition or even death of the patient as in the incident outlined above.

Establishing breach of duty is the first step however this alone is not sufficient. It must in fact be shown that the breach caused the injury and loss in question and that an underlying medical condition would not have led to the same outcome for the patient in any event. This is known as the 'but for' test ie but for the breach of duty, the outcome would not have arisen.

Clinical Negligence claims should be handled only by those Lawyers who have the requisite experience in this area of law and are able to give appropriate accident claim advice.

If you believe you or a member of your family have been injured as a result of a breach of duty by a medical practitioner, please contact First Personal Injury to speak with a qualified clinical negligence advisor.

Notes to editors

About First Personal Injury

First Personal Injury is a leading firm of specialist personal injury solicitors based in the North West and acting on behalf of Claimants nationwide.

First Personal Injury has a wealth of experience in dealing with personal injury matters and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. First Personal Injury is a member of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel and is also a panel member of Headway, the brain injury charity. First Personal Injury is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

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