A care home has been fined £20,000 after a pensioner died after drinking a bottle of disinfectant.
Tigh-Na-Muirn Limited, operators of the Tigh Na Muirn Residential Home in Dundee, have been fined the incident that happened in 2020.
Pensioner David Fyfe died on May 31 three years ago after being poisoned by a cup of Steri-Germ washroom cleaner.
Dundee The Sheriff Court was told that Fyfe, who resided in Tigh Na Muirn, had previously tested positive for Covid-19 on May 6 and had been temporarily isolated.
At this point, the home had containment plans in place to ensure all cleaning products were placed out of reach on a top shelf.
But the fine comes as Tigh-Na-Muirn Limited pleaded guilty to an occupational health and safety violation committed between March 20 and June 1, 2020.
Chief Financial Officer Jane Hilditch previously told the court that staff found Mr Fyfe seriously unwell in his room at the height of the first pandemic lockdown in May 2020.
She said: “He was having trouble breathing and chest pains. Calling 999 called for an ambulance. The staff discovered a cup with remains of green liquid in it on the table.”
“It was the same color as the disinfectant. He could not confirm if he had ingested any of the liquid. He was taken to Ninewells Hospital for monitoring.”
“The following day his condition gradually deteriorated and the staff decided to transfer him to palliative care and he died on May 31.”
“An autopsy revealed the main cause of death was ingestion of an ammonia-based cleaning product.
“Cleaning chemicals were never normally kept in rooms and locked in the cupboard, but under the circumstances of the pandemic and infection control they were in the Covid positive rooms.”
“It is not known why the bottle in his room was not labeled. They underestimated the risk to residents of storing Steri-Germ in rooms.”
The company, which has 120 employees, 59 residents and an annual turnover of between £2m and £10m, has failed to assess the risk of storing cleaning fluid indoors and ensuring residents are not exposed to hazardous cleaning chemicals.
The company admitted leaving a bottle containing an ammonium-based liquid in the bathroom cupboard on May 6, 2020, resulting in Mr Fyfe swallowing a quantity of it on May 27.
This caused Fyfe, who already had dementia, to develop severe inflammation that led to pneumonia. He later died.
A spokesman for the home said: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family.”
“We have learned from this tragedy and have taken all necessary steps to ensure that something like this never happens again.”