Lynne Spalding: Cause of Death Revealed
Facing criticism from the family of Lynne Spalding, the 57 year-old woman whose body was found in a stairwell at SF General Hospital, the city medical examiner released its preliminary cause of death today -- although only a few people got to see it.
According to local news station KTVU, Spalding died of "probable electrolyte imbalance with delirium (Clinical Sepsis) while in stairwell. Due to complications of ethanolism (Clinical history)." She disappeared from her hospital room two days after receiving surgery for a urinary tract infection, and was found dead three weeks later.
A spokesman from the examiner's office declined to comment, and the Spaldings' attorney, Haig Harris, had not received the medical report by the time it was leaked to media outlets. In interviews, he's publicly chided the examiner for dragging its heels and punting questions about Spalding's death. Other critics say the office is severely backlogged, noting that the National Association of Medical Examiners demoted its accreditation status from "full" to "provisional" earlier this year.
Spalding was thin and frail at the time of her death, but still notably "feisty," according to those who knew her.