Coroner’s warning after Rushden dad dies from drinking liquid nicotine

Kettering police station, Northamptonshire ENGNNL00120141002115017
Kettering police station, Northamptonshire ENGNNL00120141002115017

A coroner has issued a warning to vapers about the hidden dangers of e-cigarettes after a Rushden dad-of-two died from drinking liquid nicotine.

Clinton Field, 32, was found unconscious on the floor by his partner after necking a bottle of the liquid at his home and passed away three days later in hospital.

An inquest in Kettering on Thursday heard his case is so rare that there have only been three or four similar deaths recorded in the world.

Paramedics were called to Clinton’s house in Balmoral Avenue at 6.18am on November 7, 2015.

They arrived and found him laying on the floor in the kitchen looking grey and rushed him to Kettering General Hospital where he was placed on a ventilator.

Despite seemingly to improve after a day his condition deteriorated and he died three days later at 6.15pm on November 10.

Northamptonshire Coroner Hassan Shah issued a warning to people about the dangers of liquid nicotine.

Recording a verdict of drug-related death, he said: “The verdict I will include is this death was drug related and in brackets it will say liquid nicotine.

“This is a very rare occurrence and we do not see very many deaths by ingestion of liquid nicotine.

“The public at large might not be aware of the risks about death from liquid nicotine.

“I hope this death will serve as a warning to others and perhaps save lives in the future.

“We are starting to see an increase in vapour fluids being used and clearly liquid nicotine is available on the internet.

“There is an increase in the use of nicotine in different forms and that is going to encourage people to try more but we need to find a way of educating people about the dangers.”

The hearing at Kettering Police Station was told Mr Field had drank the liquid after getting drunk on cider and vodka at his home.

Dr Stephen Morley, consultant clinical scientist and forensic toxicologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary said the alcohol content in Clinton’s body was three times over the drink-drive limit.

He told the court the effects from taking liquid nicotine would have taken about 30 mins to one hour to occur.

He explained taking liquid nicotine would cause frothing at the mouth, abnormal heart beats, epilepsy and lead to cardiac arrest.

The brain would also suffer damage as it would be starved of oxygen.

He said with the families permission he wanted to publish this death in a scientific journal as ‘this was only the third or fourth case in the world ever recorded from death by liquid nicotine’.

Giving evidence, Clinton’s partner of 10 years Emma Richards told the court how they had two children together.

She said they were both having trouble with their 14-year-old son and Clinton felt he had lost control of the boy’s behaviour.

She revealed he was someone who was dependent on alcohol but did not drink it every day and felt he could not cope with what was happening to his son.

The hearing was told that evening Emma and Clinton went out to a friends for a meal but did not have any alcohol.

On the way home Clinton bought four cans of strong cider and drank one as soon as he came back.

At about 1am he went to an old night garage and bought a one litre bottle of vodka which he drunk.

During the early hours of the morning at about 5am, Emma was woken up by Clinton who said he had to go to heaven to be with his dad who had died six years ago.

He told her he was going to drink liquid nicotine and she should look after the kids.

They sat down and cried together and then Clinton said he needed to have a cigarette and went into the kitchen.

It was there Emma found him frothing at the mouth and called 999 and they told her to give CPR which she did until the paramedics arrived.

She told the court she did not believe Clinton meant to take his own life as he had made threats before when drunk.