Somerville Hospital apologizes after death of woman outside

The current entrance to the Somerville Hospital. –PETER DEMARCO photo

Officials at the parent company of Somerville Hospital apologized Wednesday night for not meeting “our own standards for transparency and accountability’’ in the death of Laura Levis, who went to the emergency room during a severe 2016 asthma attack and found the door locked.

In a statement, Cambridge Health Alliance pledged to improve its emergency medical response protocols days after The Boston Globe Magazine published a story about how the cracks and flaws in the health care system led to Levis’s death.

The story, written by Levis’s husband, Peter DeMarco, chronicled Levis’s asthma attack before dawn on the morning of Sept. 16, 2016. Levis’s attack led her to Somerville Hospital, but she never made it through the door. DeMarco’s narrative detailed the communication errors, overburdened staffs, and lack of fail-safes that plagued the response of police, fire, and hospital staff to Levis’s medical emergency.


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