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Letting patient wander and die in hospital medical malpractice?

Appleton, Wisconsin residents may have been among those following the story of a 57-year-old woman who checked into a San Francisco hospital for a bladder infection and then vanished. The woman's body was found after 18 days in a little-used stairwell at the hospital, which left her family and friends angrily wondering if negligence tantamount to medical malpractice was to blame in her death.

The search for the missing woman ranged all over the city, with searchers wondering if she had somehow wandered out of the hospital, dazed on powerful medications being used to treat her condition. Those looking for her had assumed the hospital itself had been thoroughly searched, an assumption that turned out to be unfounded since the woman's body was found in an external stairwell of the facility.

Police and hospital officials said that they were investigating what could have happened. The hospital denied knowing how the woman's body ended up where it did. A statement released jointly by the hospital and the sheriff's department stated that the woman was checked on in her room by a nurse at 10:15 a.m. When the nurse came to check on her again fifteen minutes later, the statement said, she was gone.

Medical malpractice can result in personal injury or even death. Doctor error or surgical error are mistakes that an Appleton, Wisconsin, lawyer may help victims address in a court of law. The elderly or others in assisted living environments who have suffered nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse may find an attorney to be instrumental in helping to arrange financial compensation after being denied a reasonable standard of care.

Source: CNN, "Body found in hospital stairwell is missing patient, examiner says", Lateef Mungin and Dan Simon, October 10, 2013

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