- Linda McDonagh, 60, died on January 14
- She had been given spiked saline last summer
- Police now investigating five deaths at Stepping Hill
Daniel Miller and Rob Cooper
Last updated at 2:34 PM on 23rd January 2012
Poison victim: Linda McDonagh, 60, died after her saline drip was poisoned at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport
A 60-year-old woman has become the fifth person to die at Stepping Hill Hospital after her saline drip was poisoned, it emerged today.
Linda McDonagh, who had a serious underlying health condition, was treated at the Greater Manchester site last summer.
She died on January 14, though details of her death were only released today.
Ms McDonagh is one of 21 patients thought to have been deliberately poisoned on wards A1, A2 or A3 – which care for seriously ill patients – between June 1 and July 15 last year.
Police are investigating whether insulin poisoning was a factor in Mrs McDonagh’s death.
The coroner’s office have been informed and tests are due to be carried out.
Officers are continuing to probe the
deaths of multiple sclerosis sufferer Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold
Lancaster, 71, Derek Weaver, 83, and Bill Dickson, 82, a former senior Daily
Mail journalist, who all died after suffering ‘hypoglycaemic episodes’ –
a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels.
A saboteur is believed to have spiked saline solution with insulin at the hospital.
The alarm was
first raised by hospital staff on July 12 when a higher than normal
number of patients were reported to have ‘unexplained’ low blood sugar
A 60-year-old woman is believed to have become the fifth person to have been deliberately poisoned at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester
Arrested: Victorino Chua, 46, who was held in connection with the murder of three patients
However, police have described the investigation as very complex – and are having to examine a bewildering 700 people who could have contaminated saline fluids at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.
Earlier this month male nurse Victorino Chua, 46, was arrested in connection with the murder of three patients – Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Derek Weaver, 83. He was bailed until April.
He was also arrested on suspicion of 18 counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Fellow nurse Rebecca Leighton, 28, spent six weeks in jail following her arrest in the investigation.
She was released and cleared of any wrongdoing last September when prosecutors said there was not enough evidence against her.
Victims: Alfred Weaver
Victim: Bill Dickson, a former Daily Mail journalist, who died after suffering a ‘hypoglycaemic episode’
Announcing the latest death, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said today: ‘The woman, who was one of a number of patients who police believe suffered hypoglycaemic episodes between June and July 2011 after being administered contaminated products at Stepping Hill Hospital, died in the early hours of Saturday 14 January.
‘The coroner has been made aware and further tests are ongoing.’
The family of Mrs McDonagh, from Offerton, Stockport, have said they do not wish to comment.
Police chiefs have previously stressed that detectives have not yet established the degree to which deliberate contamination of products may have contributed to the patients’ deaths.
They added that about 650 people have already been spoken to by officers since the contamination was discovered when nursing staff raised the alarm.
Saline victim: This is where Linda McDonagh, 60, lived. She died last week at Stepping Hill Hospital after being poisoned last summer
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