Lynne Spalding: Body Found in Hospital Stairwell Confirmed to be Missing Patient

Categories: Breaking News

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Lynne Spalding
Authorities this morning identified the woman's body that was found in the San Francisco General Hospital stairwell as 57-year-old Lynne Ford, who went by Lynne Spalding, a patient who had gone missing from her hospital bed two weeks ago.

Staff at San Francisco General found Spalding's body yesterday in an exterior stairwell that they said was rarely used. Horrified family members gathered at the hospital as they waited for hours to get confirmation that it was in fact Spalding, a mother of two.

"While the medical examiner will make the final determination of identity, we have enough information to conclude at this time it was Ms. Spalding Ford," hospital staff said in a statement. "We do not know how she came to be in the stairwell, how long she had been there, or what caused her death."

Spalding was found yesterday morning in the exterior stairwell that is not routinely used by staff, patients, or the public. An engineer found her body as he was doing regular maintenance in the area. The door has an alarm and locks from the outside, and the stairs lead to an exit on the ground floor of the hospital, said Rachel Kagan, spokeswoman for SFGH.

Spalding was admitted into the hospital on Sept. 19 for an infection after she had surgery. She had been taking medication that made her disoriented, however, staff had reportedly been checking on her every 15 minutes. But on Sept. 21, Spalding vanished from her room and was never seen or heard from again. The hospital staff says it combed the campus looking for her, but were unable to locate Spalding, who was then classified as a missing person.

"Nothing like this has happened before -- this is without precedent," SFGH said in a statement.


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22 comments
Bushonya
Bushonya

"Lawyer up" Time to get some settlement money.

elizabethfrantes
elizabethfrantes

I do not understand how this could happen.  When I was in college, I worked security at Kaiser.  we were unarmed, mostly students and retired military.  Yet, we checked ALL stairways and ALL doors and alarms at least once a shift.  That is the first place that was checked for a missing patient, BTW,.   I simply cannot comprehend how some alleged professionals, trained, armed, and actual SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES, could get away with such unprofessional shit.  You can bet that those responsible won't be named, let alone blamed, the badge queen DA will ignore all obvious charges (dereliction of duty etc) and for the SFSD to say that the state board didn't say they had to do it . . .COME ON NOW.  What the bloody purulent HELL is going on there?  We know many of the patients "disappear" .. . what a great place for a serial killer ... and this won't be the first time the "undeserving" were disappeared. 

pembrokellc
pembrokellc

I don't blame the nurses. This is much more on the high cost sheriff deputies. If this was Smirkies wife or Ed Lee's wife.........they would have had a private room at UCSF or Stanford.

aliasetc
aliasetc topcommenter

Somebody fucked up badly and the idiot mayor is sticking his head up his ass trying to lie and bullshit the hospitals way out of it. Fire the hospital boss for stupidity.

Anna Polse
Anna Polse

Heard about this last night....I was blown away! Was wrong with people??

Maurice Rivers
Maurice Rivers

SF General is now the pinnacle of SF ineptitude and foolishness.

Javier Leocadio Colón
Javier Leocadio Colón

This situation perfectly summarizes the culture here in San Francisco... one of aloofness and unaccountably. Whether it is a man masturbating on a public bus, someone urinating on a sidewalk in the middle of the city or a victim of violence. San Franciscans turn their heads and walk the other way and take no responsibility for anything. This culture is slowly destroying the social structure of a caring community. Yesterday a man was shot at 4pm in Excelsior... Everyone pulled out their mobile phones and took photos but only one person ran to give CPR and assist the dying man. WAKE UP SAN FRANCISCO... You are becoming a very twisted city!

Dante Forrest
Dante Forrest

all that did the search in the hospital should be fired

Sylvia Janine Feng
Sylvia Janine Feng

So sf general does "maintenance" like, once a month? This is suspicious..

Cris Wazna-Blank
Cris Wazna-Blank

makes me sad, ever time i've been to SFGH(and its many) i've had a great...if timely, experience there. Always been checked on and never thought myself forgotten or misplaced.

Lisa Eileen Hern
Lisa Eileen Hern

Oh so sad. I see the posters all over town and have been hoping she was ok.

Rob Blomberg
Rob Blomberg

This is one of my fears as a nurse... Giving my patients as much attention as I can while admitting, discharging, teaching, medicating, cleaning, feeding, advocating for and taking orders on their behalf to help make them well and something like this happens. I don't know any nurse out there who wouldn't be absolutely devastated to physically lose track of a patient. We want them to walk around as much as possible to prevent pneumonia, pressure sores and GI motility issues... Losing a patient who's up and about must be an absolute nightmare.

Lauren Larsson
Lauren Larsson

Sad. She was suffering from an infection and on drugs that made her "loopy" (RTFA.) This is not the time to shill for socialized medicine--she was already in the hospital.

Natalie Jarman
Natalie Jarman

Great work SF General! Two weeks and they had not thought to check all of the stair wells? EW

Jason Zentraedi
Jason Zentraedi

Another reason for increased funding for *socialized* healthcare. I'm sure the one nurse watching an entire floor of patients couldn't keep track of all of them.

Steven Python
Steven Python

So she died on an exterior stairway - presumably of exposure and neglect? Probably just went out to have a cigarette or some fresh air. Sometimes this town really creeps me out.

elizabethfrantes
elizabethfrantes

@pembrokellc  You got that.  It's SOP for security guards in every building I ever worked, including Kaiser, to check all doors, all alarms, all stairs, at least once per shift.  You can bet that the City, that is, the taxpayers, will pay a fortune to her family, and those incompetent and unprofessional "deputies" will keep their jobs, their pensions, etc. 

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