John Haughey's family win settlement after Hull Royal Infirmary hand gel death

Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
John Haughey died in Hull Royal Infirmary after drinking the hand sanitiser

The family of a man who died after drinking hand sanitiser in hospital has won an undisclosed five-figure sum in damages from a NHS trust.

John Haughey, 76, drank more than half a litre of the gel while in a confused state at Hull Royal Infirmary in 2015.

The substance contained 75% alcohol - equivalent to consuming a litre of gin.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust admitted it had failed to reach the standard of care it wanted but had since taken "robust action".

Diane Atkin, one of Mr Haughey's daughters, said: "How can you just unscrew a top on something that's so dangerous to drink?

"I don't know what he thought he was drinking, whether he thought he was drinking water... but he managed to drink it all."

Image caption,
Diane Atkin said the hand gel "was an accident waiting to happen"

The settlement was agreed after a medical negligence claim, according to Hudgell Solicitors.

The trust did not dispute its liability, the solicitors said.

Since Mr Haughey's death, the trust has introduced lockable, wall-mounted dispensers and issued staff with personal supplies of hand cleanser, the trust said.

Mr Haughey, from Hull, was admitted to hospital with a history of confusion, according to a report from Prof Paul Marks, the senior coroner for East Riding and Hull.

The pensioner consumed the hand wash on Ward 80 on 6 September 2015.

He developed acute alcohol poisoning but his airway was not protected for seven hours in the hope the effects of the alcohol would wear off, the report said.

The 76-year-old later developed bronchopneumonia on both lungs and died six days later, Prof Marks found.

The coroner sent the report to health bodies including NHS England in April saying "action should be taken to prevent future deaths".

Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England's medical director, has since highlighted the latest NHS guidance on the need for detailed risk assessments where gels are placed around vulnerable patients.

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