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Nurse arrested on suspicion of murder in Stockport saline sabotage case

By Tom Midlane

A 26-year-old nurse at Stepping Hill hospital was arrested on suspicion of murder this morning after three hospital patients died when their saline drips were contaminated with insulin.

Detectives went to her home in the Heaviley area of Stockport at 6am this morning where the woman was arrested.

Thirty-six bags of saline in a storeroom were found to have been sabotaged and police said on Tuesday that they could not rule out the possibility that the person responsible was still at large in the hospital.

The three who died – Tracey Arden, 44, George Keep, 84, and Arnold Lancaster, 71 – had all had their saline drips injected with insulin, with tests ongoing to determine if this was the cause of their deaths.

A fourth victim in his 40s remains critically ill.

Meanwhile diabetic Sam Edge, 23, came close to falling into a coma three times, and only survived because his condition meant he recognised when his blood sugar levels were plummeting.

They are among a total of 14 patients on two acute medical wards – A1 and A3 – whose treatment since 7 July is being examined by police.

Hospital chiefs were unable to report on the condition of the other nine patients affected, but said they were satisfied that none of them were at risk.

Dr Chris Burke, chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are aware that Greater Manchester Police have made an arrest this morning of a 26-year-old female.

“As the police are continuing with their inquiries we are unable to provide any further details but it is important to stress that no charge has been made at this stage.”

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