Now there are media reports that an unidentified individual, perhaps a homeless person, was seen in the stairwell and may have seen or had some interaction with Spalding.
David Perry, a spokesman for the family, "said in a video statement, "Lynne Spalding died alone. In a stairwell. In one of the finest medical institutions in this country."
Todd May, MD, Chief Medical Officer at San Francisco General Hospital told SKY News, "What happened at our hospital is horrible… This has shaken us to our core." The hospital has reportedly made some changes to patient protocols.
4. Suspiciously Low URFO Numbers
How often do adverse events happen? Let's look at retained foreign objects.
Last week, The Joint Commission issued another in its series of Sentinel Alerts, this one on unintended retention of foreign objects (URFOs).
Consider the commission's list of items left inside surgical cavities:
Soft goods, such as sponges and towels; device components or fragments, such as broken parts of instruments, stapler components, parts of laparoscopic trocars, guide wires, catheters, and pieces of drains; needles and other sharps, and instruments such as malleable retractors.
What's particularly horrifying is that on all too many well-documented occasions, objects are not discovered until weeks, months, or even years later, such as a case in Kentucky, highlighted in the Alert:
Four years after having a hysterectomy", a woman in Kentucky began to experience severe abdominal pain. A CT scan revealed a surgical sponge left behind by the surgical team that had performed the hysterectomy.
"Upon surgical exploration, the retained sponge was found to have caused a serious infection, which required bowel resection. The patient suffered from severe health issues, anxiety, depression, disability and social isolation."