Cause of ‘cleaning fluid mix-up’ woman’s death still unexplained

Posted On 15 Nov 2017 at 12:32 pm

The investigation into how an elderly woman who died at the Royal Sussex after apparently drinking cleaning fluid is continuing as the cause of death is not yet established.

The Royal Sussex County Hospital


The inquest into the death of Joan Blaber, 85, at the Brighton hospital in September opened at Brighton Coroners Court yesterday morning. The brief hearing heard that the cause of death is currently unascertained.

Sussex Police is leading the enquiry into the circumstances surrounding her death, which happened on Saturday, September 23. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and NHS are assisting.

It’s understood that one line of enquiry is that Mrs Blaber drank cleaning fluid which had been mistaken for orange juice a few days earlier.

Mrs Blaber, who lived in Hoopers Close in Lewes, attended Trinity Church in Southover, where prayers had been said for her health last year.

A spokeswoman for Southover Community Care, which is run by the church, said her family was too distressed to talk publicly about what had happened.

A pre-inquest review is scheduled for 1 March next year.

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