1 dead, 2 hospitalized after seniors given dishwashing soap instead of juice


San Mateo, Calif. — Police here are probing the circumstances surrounding the fatal poisoning of a senior care home resident with dishwashing soap that also hospitalized two other residents, CBS Bay Area reports.

A San Mateo police officer was dispatched Sunday night after the department received a report of a female being poisoned at the Atria Hillsdale care home facility. Police said they learned that three residents were hospitalized after ingesting toxic chemicals.

Police said one, a 93-year-old female, was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The other two remain hospitalized. Police didn’t provide any information on their condition.

Detectives were investigating the case jointly with the California Department of Social Services Ombudsman. Police said Atria Hillsdale is cooperating with investigators.

Atria Hillsdale issued a statement to CBS Bay Area, confirming that the three residents drank dishwashing liquid after it was served to them as juice. The statement didn’t provide details on how it happened. It said the workers involved have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigaiton:

“We can confirm three of our residents were recently transported to the hospital after mistakenly being served dishwashing liquid as drinking juice. We have been working with local authorities, who have informed us that one resident passed away. Our sincerest condolences are with the family.

“When this occurred, our staff immediately contacted authorities, and the residents were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.

“We are conducting our own internal investigation, and the employees involved have been suspended until this investigation concludes. We will continue working with the police and Department of Social Services to fully review and assess the incident, after which we will take additional actions as needed. The safety and well-being of our residents remain our top priorities at all times. Out of respect for the people involved, we cannot comment further.”

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