Patient who froze to death outside hospital had run away before

EDMONTON — An Alberta doctor who treated a hospital patient found frozen to death says he gave the OK for her to go outside for a smoke, even though he knew she had run away from another hospital just days earlier.

EDMONTON — An Alberta doctor who treated a hospital patient found frozen to death says he gave the OK for her to go outside for a smoke, even though he knew she had run away from another hospital just days earlier.

Lorraine Adolph, who suffered from schizophrenia, vanished from the geriatric unit of Alberta Hospital on Dec. 4, 2008 after she went outside to have a cigarette.

An officer conducting a followup search found her frozen body on the hospital grounds a week later just 800 metres from where she was last seen.

Dr. Robert Granger testified at an inquiry into Adolph’s death that he was aware she fled a hospital in Stony Plain and that she was suffering from hallucinations and delusions, but didn’t feel there was any risk of her running away.

The court also heard a voicemail the doctor left for the woman’s family after she couldn’t be found in which he said Adolph had been gone an hour and he had learned his lesson.

But Granger testified today that he did not recall leaving the message.

On Wednesday, Const. Ryan Busby testified police had canvassed nearby businesses after hospital staff told him “they were confident that they searched the building.”

Security guards say an immediate search of the grounds was done in a vehicle, but with two other patients missing that day, a foot search was not conducted until 9:15 p.m. — nine hours after Adolph went missing.

And while one security guard did go near the building where the woman’s body was found, no one searched around it because guards said the snow was too deep.

Barry Adolph.

(CTV Edmonton)