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Massachusetts Hospitals Must Change Signage After Woman Dies Outside ER

“Laura’s Law” is aimed at helping people with a medical emergency find help faster.




Hospitals in the state of Massachusetts will need to make sure their signage meets standards outlined in new regulations collectively referred to as “Laura’s Law.”

The regulations are named for Laura Levis, a 34-year-old woman who died from an asthma attack outside Somerville Hospital in 2016 after she was unsuccessful in finding immediate help, the WBUR radio station reports.

When Levis arrived at the emergency room, she saw two glass doors but neither was marked, the article explains. The door she approached, though brightly lit, was locked and she couldn’t see anyone inside.

“Laura also, I believe, figured out that while the door she was at was locked, the second door, which was dark, maybe that was a way to get in,” her husband Peter DeMarco told WBUR. “And in reality, that was the official entrance to the emergency department, even though it had no sign above it. So she began walking [approximately 100 feet] toward that door and her attack overcame her, and she couldn’t reach the door.”

The new requirements from the state Department of Public Health apply to signs, lights and video intercoms that allow people to call for help from outside an ER. DPH issued guidance to hospitals on the regulations this month.

Read more at WBUR.


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