NHS Safety Alert

Issue: Superabsorbent polymer gel granules are widely used in health and social care, typically as small sachets placed in urine and vomit bowls as well as stoma appliances.

If the gel granules are put in the mouth they expand on contact with saliva risking airway obstruction. This has happened where patients have mistaken the sachets for sweets, or sugar or salt packets, but some incident reports also describe attempts of deliberate self-harm. Healthcare providers are asked to review their overall approach to using these products.

Patient Safety Alert – polymer gel granules FINAL v4.pdf

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