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Mom Of Two D!es From Brain Swelling After Drinking Too Much Water

A mom-of-two has died from drinking too much water and her husband lays all the blame on the health facility.

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Michelle Whitehead

Michelle Whitehead, a 45 year old woman, from England, was taken to Millbrook Mental Health Unit in Nottinghamshire on May 5, 2021, after suffering a mental breakdown, the BBC reported.

She died two days later after drinking water excessively and going into a coma, something the staff discovered too late, he claimed.

“Had they acted earlier Michelle would have been taken to ICU and put on a drip. That would have saved her life,” Michael Whitehead, Michelle’s husband of 22 years, claimed.

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Whitehead had a condition called psychogenic polydipsia which “is characterized by excessive volitional water intake and is often seen in patients with psychiatric disorders and/or neurodevelopmental disorders,”

Workers at the facility didn’t diagnose Whitehead with psychogenic polydipsia at the time, her husband claimed, and she was allowed to have unsupervised access to water in her room.

An investigation into her death found that hospital staff allegedly gave her tranquilizers to sleep and she fell into a coma, something workers reportedly didn’t realize until four hours later.

Michelle was transferred to King’s Mill Hospital where she died from low sodium levels from excessively drinking water.

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Michelle Whitehead children husband

The extreme water intake caused brain swelling which ultimately killed her.

The BBC reported that Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust admitted to eight failings including not adhering to their policy after Michelle was tranquilized and staffers being distracted by their mobile phones.

The investigation concluded that the mental health unit’s failings “probably more than minimally” contributed to her death.

The coroner asked the mental health unit to get better at detecting psychogenic polydipsia in the future to prevent future deaths.

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Ifti Majid, CEO of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, apologized to the family.

“We are considering the findings of the jury and the coroner. We acknowledge that there were aspects of care which were not of the quality they should have been and will address the concerns raised so that the experience for patients now and in future is improved,” he told the BBC.

Michelle’s husband remembered her as someone who was “warm, caring and easy to love.”

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The pair were childhood sweethearts. Michael was 17 and Michelle was 15 when he first met her on a bus.

“She looked through the records I’d just bought, and I fell in love,” Michael said.

The couple were together for 30 years and had two sons, one of whom had Down syndrome. Michelle was caring for her disabled son full-time for 19 years and gave up her job as a nursery nurse to care for him.

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