Thursday, October 10, 2013

Didn't Need To Read THIS Today...

Calif. hospital ID's dead woman as missing patient
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A patient who disappeared from her room at San Francisco's main hospital last month was identified Wednesday as the woman found dead this week in an emergency stairwell, horrified authorities said as they continued to investigate how she got there and died.

San Francisco General Hospital Chief Medical Officer Todd May said officials were still awaiting confirmation of the woman's identity from the medical examiner's office. But he said the hospital had enough information to conclude the body discovered in the fourth-floor stairwell belonged to 57-year-old Lynne Spalding.
She was found in a friggin' stairwell inside the hospital ground more than two weeks after she was reported missing. The San Francisco police allegedly conducted a search for her. It gets even better - the stairwell is an alarmed fire escape, and there's no indication that there was ever any warning that the alarm functioned. Typically fire escapes sound an alarm if breached - the whole idea being if someone is *using* the fire escape there's a good chance there's a fire.

So, we have a fire alarm that never sounded, a hospital that missed a patient in "fair" condition during a routine check, a sheriff's office that conducted a search but missed the person still on site, and a family that is left grieving and bewildered as to how this could possibly have happened in 2013 in the United States of America. And I have no words for that family, because quite frankly this sort of thing shouldn't happen in a first world country. People shouldn't disappear from a medical facility only to be found, dead, two weeks later, still in that same facility.

It's a bad story for me to hear today for a very simple reason. Dad G. is going into a similarly modern hospital in Boston to have his hip replaced. The past few years he's been having more and more pain in his hip, and it's finally gotten to the stage where he needs it replaced. As surgeries go, hip replacements are in the more minor category, slightly more involved than, say, vasectomies but certainly not on the level of open heart surgery (which, oddly enough, Dad G. had in that very same hospital some 14 years prior. Right as we were moving into the house we're currently moving out of...). So, if you could spare some good thoughts, Dad G. (and I) could use them today...

This is the kind of thing you'd expect to hear happening in Soviet Russia in the 1960s, not modern San Francisco.

That is all.

8 comments:

Steve said...

Best wishes to Dad G. I take it you haven't been to San Francisco in a while. There's not a lot of difference between KGB Soviet Union and San Fran these days. the free love liberals lost the war and don't know it. SF is just slightly behind bloombergistan's fascism. The thing that gets you is the smell as soon as you get off the jetway at SFO, reminiscent of North Station in the 70's.

Dave H said...

I doubt you'd have heard about a patient gone missing in Soviet Russia, unless the Politburo decided the hospital administrator was getting too big for his britches.

Best wishes for your Dad!

ASM826 said...

Hope his surgery goes well.

On the other note, the event you describe is a marker. Expect more of them as the system fails and we move into the brave new world.

instinct said...

Not a lot of difference between Soviet Russia and San Francisco, Jay.

Prayers for your dad.

LIHS Blogger said...

Best of wishes for your dad with his surgery and recovery.

Stretch said...

Prayers offered. Wife has done a lap around the beads.

Stretch said...

RE: Hospital Patient
Clearly SFPD's idea of "search" differs from professionals. If it can be accessed, alarm or not, it WILL be searched.

ScribblersDad said...

Hi Jay. Just a reminder that I'm a doc at my day job. Happy to be of any assistance whatsoever during Dad G's medical trials. Best wishes to him, and you know how to contact me!

PS - Going to Blogorado??? If so, keep half an eye on Scribbler for me.