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Security guards outside Stepping Hill hospital yesterday Jon Super/AP/Press Association Images

Fourth person dies at UK hospital as nurse is arrested

The patients died after blood-sugar drug insulin was added to containers of saline solution at the Manchester facility.

Updated 13:57

A FOURTH PERSON has died at Stepping Hill hospital in Manchester amid suspicions that fatal levels of insulin were added to patients’ saline drips.

Nurse Rebecca Leighton is being questioned by police over the unexplained deaths. The 27-year-old was arrested at her home yesterday morning. Officers later seized a computer and other possessions for examination, the BBC reports.

It’s believed that Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and 84-year-old George Keep died after saline solution used for rehydration drips was contaminated with insulin, fatally lowering their blood sugar levels. Police found 36 containers of saline in a storeroom which had had insulin injected into them. The fourth patient, understood to be a man in his 40s, passed away today after being in a critical condition for several days. Another eleven people are recovering, according to Sky News.

Suspicions were first raised when a nurse reported a number of patients on her ward with unusually low blood sugar levels. Insulin is used by diabetics to regulate their blood sugar but can be fatal if too much is taken.

Staff at the hospital have been told to work in pairs while the investigation is continuing. The UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council confirmed that they have begun proceedings to suspend Ms Leighton from the nurses’ register after her arrest, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Read more: Deaths in hospital where drips were contaminated with insulin >

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