Boston man pushes for better hospital signage after wife dies outside ER

The husband of a woman who died just outside of the emergency department at CHA Somerville (Mass.) Hospital is advocating for new regulations on ED access, reports the Gloucester Daily Times.

Peter DeMarco detailed the circumstances of his wife's death in a 2018 article for The Boston Globe Magazine. His wife, 34-year-old Laura Levis, suffered an asthma attack on Sept. 16, 2016, and tried to seek care at the hospital. After discovering a locked door to the emergency room, she called 911 for help. When first responders found her about 10 minutes later, Ms. Levis was in cardiac arrest. She died Sept. 22, 2016.

Mr. DeMarco is pushing state lawmakers to pass a set of bills known as "Laura's Law," which would place new regulations on hospitals to make sure patients can easily access EDs 24/7. Regulations would include well-lit signage for ED entrances, emergency doorbells and surveillance monitoring outside the facility. The bills would also call on a state-level working group to study gaps in ED access.

Somerville Hospital issued a public apology to Mr. DeMarco after his wife's death and updated policies to prevent similar incidents from occurring. However, Mr. DeMarco and the lawmakers who introduced Laura's Law say a statewide policy is needed to protect patients across Massachusetts.

To read the full article, click here.

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