EDMONTON – Friday was supposed to be the final day of the fatality inquiry into the death of a 22-year-old woman in an isolation room at Alberta Hospital.
However, Dr. Anny Sauvageau, the chief medical examiner at the time of Lisa Goltman’s death in May 2013, was on the stand far longer than expected – almost two whole days.
Mother breaks down during fatality inquiry for Lisa Goltman
Fatality inquiry into the death of 31-year-old Alberta Hospital patient
Goltman was a patient at the hospital, diagnosed with bipolar disorder. On the night she died, she was placed in a seclusion room around 11 p.m. At 2:30 a.m., a visual check reported her alive and breathing. At 3 a.m. she was unresponsive. Staff began CPR and paramedics were called. By the time EMS arrived at about 3:45 a.m., rigor mortis had already set in, the inquiry heard.
READ MORE: Family searches for answers after Alberta Hospital patient dies
On Friday, Sauvageau said her autopsy showed Goltman had been dead for at least four hours by the time staff said they reported it.
“I had, based on a lack of information, concluded the death was natural,” she testified.
Sauvageau said she didn’t have access to Goltman’s medical records at the time. She said, since receiving them, she would now classify the cause of death as undetermined.
READ MORE: Mother breaks down during fatality inquiry for Lisa Goltman
She was questioned about the possibility that Goltman was asphyxiated by a blanket in the isolation room.
The inquiry is proving so complex, at least three more days have been added to its schedule, likely at the end of May.
With files from Emily Mertz, Global News