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Originator: National Patient Safety Alert - NHS England & NHS Improvement

Issue date: Originally issued on 28-Nov-2019 15:00:07. This version was issued on 28-Nov-2019 15:00:07

This alert has been issued to:
  • Care Trusts
  • Mental Health Trusts
  • Specialists Trusts
  • NHS Regional Offices
  • Learning Disabilities Trusts
  • Mental Health & Social Care Trusts
  • Ambulance Trusts
  • Mental Health & Learning Disabilities Trusts
  • Acute Trusts
  • Community Trusts

  • Other contacts
  • Independent Healthcare Providers (registered with CAS)
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Social Care Providers (registered with CAS)

Action category: Immediate Action

Title: Risk of death and severe harm from ingesting superabsorbent polymer gel granules

Broadcast content: Superabsorbent polymer gel granules are used to reduce spillage onto bedding and clothing when patients use urine bottles or vomit bowls, or when staff move fluid-filled containers (eg washbowls or bedpans). If the gel granules are put in the mouth, they expand on contact with saliva risking airway obstruction.

This National Patient Safety Alert requires any organisation still using these products to protect patients by introducing strict restrictions on their use. 

***Update added December 2019***

Please note that a product listing is now available via NHS Supply Chain at this link:


Additional information: NHS regional teams - this alert does not require cascade to primary care.

Alert reference: NatPSA/2019/002/NHSPS

Action underway deadline: 28-Dec-2019

Action complete deadline: 01-Jun-2020


Contact our helpdesk

Email: safetyalerts@mhra.gov.uk

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency