Nurse died after injecting herself with drugs believed to be from critical care unit of Royal Preston Hospital

A critical care nurse died after injecting herself with drugs she may have taken from the hospital where she worked, an inquest in Preston heard.
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Phials of a muscle relaxant and an anaesthetic were found close to the body of Katy Blezard in her bedroom in Chipping.

The 27-year-old had a canular in the back of her leg where doctors believe she administered the drugs to herself.

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But assistant coroner Janine Wolstenholme must decide tomorrow (Tuesday) if the Longridge Hockey Club player intended to take her own life or if it was a drug-taking episode which went tragically wrong.

Katy Blezard was described as 'always the life and soul of the party.'Katy Blezard was described as 'always the life and soul of the party.'
Katy Blezard was described as 'always the life and soul of the party.'

Katy, described in court by her sister Lucy as "always the life and soul of the party," was found dead on her bed one morning in November 2019.

The night before she had been cheerful and had even taken out the clothes she intended to wear the following day.

A toxicology test showed she had quantities of the anaesthetic propofol and the muscle relaxant altracurium in her system - both drugs used in the critical care unit at the Royal Preston Hospital where she was a staff nurse.

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Bubbly 'Blez,' as her mates knew her, had recaptured her love for nursing just before she died.Bubbly 'Blez,' as her mates knew her, had recaptured her love for nursing just before she died.
Bubbly 'Blez,' as her mates knew her, had recaptured her love for nursing just before she died.
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Gareth Price, the hospital trust's chief pharmacist, told the hearing that supplies of both drugs were kept in locked cabinets and fridges in the department. He said only senior staff on the unit had access to keys.

There had been three "incidents" in the month leading up to November where drugs were thought to be missing and a broken lock had been reported on one of the cupboards.

"It appeared to have been a break-in," he said. "But that is not necessarily the case."

Two used phials of the drugs had been found on the windowsill of Katy's room and the batch numbers were the same as supplies in the critical care unit.

Team-mates at Longridge Hockey Club formed a guard of honour with sticks as Blez's funeral cortege passed her favourite pub in Chipping.Team-mates at Longridge Hockey Club formed a guard of honour with sticks as Blez's funeral cortege passed her favourite pub in Chipping.
Team-mates at Longridge Hockey Club formed a guard of honour with sticks as Blez's funeral cortege passed her favourite pub in Chipping.
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He said it was "not conclusive" as the same batch of drugs would have been circulated to a large number of hospitals across the UK.

But he added: "I think the likelihood is they came from critical care."

The inquest heard that although Katy had suffered at times from anxiety and depression since she was a teenager, her mood had been positive in the days leading up to her death.

Her sister said the UCLan graduate, despite generally being a bubbly individual, had gone through a period of being withdrawn between February and August 2019.

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She had been assaulted by a patient and had suffered from flashbacks and nightmares. But she recovered to become her old self again in the weeks before she died.

"During that time Katy was a different person, quite withdrawn and very different to before," said Lucy.

"She wasn't herself. there was a definite change in her mood and demeanour. She was just having a bad time.

"But she changed her job (from a neurology ward to critical care) and had fallen back in love with the job. She was more positive.

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Katy's mum Christine Blezard agreed: "We got the old Katy back again.

"The night before she died she came came back from a shift (at the hospital), she went for a bath and then we were chatting. Everything was positive.

"She was playing hockey and she was even talking about going to a holiday cottage with a school friend.”

(Proceeding)

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