Coroner: Patient death at hospital was by strangulation

An 82-year-old Carlisle woman who died at Holy Spirit Hospital nearly three months ago was strangled to death in her hospital bed, the Cumberland County coroner said today.

Coroner Charles Hall police said the woman had an oxygen and blood pressure cord wrapped around her neck and a pillow on her face when staff discovered her deceased during the early hours of Feb. 28.

Hall said hospital staff found nothing unusual when they checked on the woman at 3 a.m., but discovered that she had died about an hour and a half later.

He said the staff tried to revive her, as they were trained to do, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

He said the resuscitation attempt has made the investigation a challenge.

“We have no opportunity to photograph the way the cords were around her neck, the way the pillow case was, anything,” Hall said of the investigation. “We don't have the opportunity to do that, that's all been altered since we arrived.”

The woman's identity has not been released. Hospital officials previously said only that she was a patient and did not arrive through the emergency room.

Hall said the hospital has been cooperating with the investigation, and the woman's family has been interviewed.

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