George Keep, 84, Arnold Lancaster, 71 and Tracey Arden, 44, all died after medication was contanimated
Police interview 11 patients who survived effects of tampered medication
These are the first pictures of the three people who died after having their medication tampered with.
George Keep, 84, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and multiple sclerosis sufferer Tracey Arden, 44, all died after the deliberate contamination of saline solution.
Detectives were today continuing to probe the three deaths at Stepping Hill hospital, Stockport.
They believe the insulin was deliberately injected into the saline containers which were used by at least two wards, but they say the three deaths remain unexplained as they await post-mortem examination results.
The family of Mr Keep, from Cheadle, Manchester, described him as a 'devoted great grandfather'.
George had in his younger years been a hard-working Cheadle/Gatley man who was enjoying his retirement with family and friends in spite of his failing health,' they said in a statement.
'He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed.'
Victim: Tracey Arden died following the deliberate contamination of saline solution at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport
Insulin was found in a batch of 36 saline ampoules in a hospital storeroom close to ward A1 after a nurse reported on Tuesday that she had found a higher than normal number of patients with unexplained low blood sugar levels.
Greater Manchester Police's major incident team is focusing its investigation from July 7 onwards but will review previous deaths at the hospital if new information comes to light.
Ms Arden died on July 7, Mr Keep died on Thursday after being admitted on June 27 and Mr Lancaster died on Monday.
Police have stressed the three deaths remain unexplained as they await post-mortem examination results.
South Manchester Coroner John Pollard is due to open inquests on all three next week.
All future deaths at the hospital that show any signs of relevant symptoms will be passed to Mr Pollard for the foreseeable future and may be referred to detectives to investigate.
Speculation has mounted throughout the weekend that several more deaths since July 7 were being looked at and that the contamination could have taken place outside the hospital but police refused to comment on either matter.
Police are continuing to interview doctors, nurses, porters, patients and visitors, while security remains high in and around the hospital.
Eleven people who survived the effects of the tampered medication will also be interviewed.
Grandmother and mother-of-two Ms Arden, of Heaviley, Stockport, was admitted from her care home for routine drug treatment for her long-term multiple sclerosis.
Ms Arden's parents Keith and June visited her in the afternoon but were later called back by the hospital to say she had 'taken a turn for the worse'.
By the time they arrived their daughter, who had been in care since she was diagnosed with MS at the age of 32, was already dead.
Ms Arden’s brother, Gary, said: ‘The most difficult thing is we had come to terms with Tracey’s death and the funeral was going to be emotional, but at least it would have brought closure.
'Now this means we won’t be able to do that – we don’t know when we can get her body back.’
'By the time my mother and father arrived she had just passed away.'
He said his parents left the hospital at 4pm and Ms Arden died at about 6pm.
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney who is leading the investigation into the sabotage of saline solution with insulin at the Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport
The funeral of Ms Arden was due to be held tomorrow but has been postponed as tests are carried out on her body.
A spokesman for the hospital said: ‘We cannot be sure the contamination occurred at the hospital but we are working under that assumption because we are currently only aware one box has been contaminated.’
Security has been stepped up at the hospital, with the use of searches and entry restrictions.
The cases of Ms Arden and two men, aged 71 and 84, echo those at Grantham and Kesteven hospital in Lincolnshire between 1991 and 1993 when nurse Beverley Allitt used insulin to kill four children.
Insulin is a hormone which diabetics need to regulate their blood sugar but it can kill if given to non-sufferers who have other health problems.
Officers are scouring the hospital’s CCTV footage for any clues on the identity of the perpetrator, and security has been stepped up.
Officers are also interviewing 11 patients who survived the effects of tampered medication along with 60 staff.
On Friday, Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney of Greater Manchester Police, said: 'We have someone deliberately contaminating saline in the one place that people should feel they are being most cared for.
'We will be planning to take the person responsible for this contamination into custody and bring them to justice.'
He stressed it would be difficult to prove a link between the tampering and the deaths.
'This investigation is at a very early stage and we don't know what effect, if any, the solution has had to the wellbeing of any patients,' he added.
'We have recovered a number of ampoules of solution and are working closely with the hospital to try to get to the bottom of what has happened
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2015648/Familys-anguish-police-step-hunt-hospital-poisoner.html#ixzz1SPIvDo6O
In: World News
Tags: Victims, angel of death, patients, killed, hospital, pictures, shown, first, time
Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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