Woman with dementia dies in care home after being fed dishwashing liquid

A woman died after being given dishwashing liquid to drink instead of juice at the American nursing home where she lived.

The woman was one of three residents at Atria Park Senior Living Facility in San Mateo, California, who were rushed to hospital after staff mistakenly gave them the toxic liquid, according to KRON-TV.

The victim's daughter, Marcia Cutchin, identified her mum Gertrude Elizabeth Murison Maxwell as the victim in the unfortunate incident.

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She claims the nursing home told her family the liquid given to her mother was an "alkaline cleaning solution that eats protein".

When Maxwell arrived at the hospital, she reportedly had "severe blistering of her mouth and oesophagus".

To make matters worse, Maxwell suffered from dementia, meaning she wasn't even able to hold the cup containing the poisonous liquid to her own lips.

"Many people, like my mother, you have to hold a cup to her mouth and tip it into her mouth," her heartbroken daughter told KRON-TV.

The nursing home is now investigating the incident internally as well as cooperating with local authorities, and the staff members involved in the deadly mistake have been suspended.

Atria Park said in a statement: "We have been working with local authorities, who have informed us that one resident passed away. Our sincerest condolences are with the family."

One source told NBC Bay Area the inedible liquid might have been confused with grape juice.

"There may have been a mistake," the source involved in the investigation said.

"A jug of grape juice is what somebody thought they had picked up and poured into glasses, but it was some sort of cleaning fluid."

San Mateo Police are reportedly investigating the harrowing incident and had no additional information to provide at this time, according to NBC.

Maxwell leaves behind eight children and 20 grandchildren, according to Cutchin.


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