The San Francisco medical examiner has weighed in on the case of Lynne Spalding who went missing from her room at San Francisco General Hospital back in late September and was later found dead in an exterior stairwell. According to the medical examiner, Spalding died several days before she was discovered due to an electrolyte imbalance likely brought on by complications due to chronic alcoholism and infection-related delirium.
Spalding was admitted to the hospital on September 19th to be treated for an infection, but wasn't found until October 8th. The medical examiner's report doesn't state an exact time of death, only that she was likely "deceased for some days" before her body was found. Spalding's family, for their part, lashed out at Medical Examiner's report, claiming the hospital was trying to paint the situation as though Spalding would have died either way.
Although her death is being ruled accidental, the case has led to several investigations into how the missing person report was handled at the hospital. Security at San Francisco General is run by the San Francisco sheriff's department which, as the Examiner reported earlier this month, is a complex job that comes with bite-prone and infectious patients, buckets of urine, and needle-wielding heroin addicts.