Risk of death from asphyxiation by accidental ingestion of fluid/food thickening powder

A stage one warning has been issued to raise awareness of the need for proper storage and management of thickening powder used as part of the treatment of people with dysphagia (swallowing problems).

The thickening powder is added to foods and liquids to bring them to the right consistency/texture so they can be safely swallowed to provide required nutrition and hydration.

The National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) database has identified patient safety incidents where harm has been caused by the accidental swallowing of the powder, when it had not been properly stored out of reach.

Patient safety alerts are shared rapidly with healthcare providers via the Central Alerting System (CAS).

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