News and Notices

Risk of death and severe harm from ingesting superabsorbent polymer gel granules

An initial Patient Safety Alert regarding superabsorbent polymer gel granules (including sachets, mats and loose powder) was actioned in 2017 after a patient died from ingesting a sachet of granules that had been left in a urine bottle in their room.


Since 2017 there have been a further 12 incidents of ingestion by patients, 2 of which died.


As a result of these incidents new guidance has been issued reinforcing that polymer gels are only required for exceptional infection control purposes and must be stored safely and securely away from patients. Click here for the full alert.


In DCHS it has been identified that these polymer gel sachets may form part of spillage kits. If spillage kits are available within your area containing these gel granules then a COSHH Assessment should be carried out and any storage and control measures taken clearly stated. 


Sent on behalf of The Patient Safety and Infection Prevention and Control Teams