Widower on Wife's Deadly Asthma Attack: 'Our Entire Emergency Response System Failed Her' - NBC10 Boston

Widower on Wife's Deadly Asthma Attack: 'Our Entire Emergency Response System Failed Her'

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    Widower: System Failed Wife During Asthma Attack

    In this NBC News exclusive, Peter Demarco details the events that led to the death of his wife Laura Levis when she sought medical attention for an asthma attack at Somerville Hospital.

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018)

    A Massachusetts woman died after suffering a severe asthma attack, but it was a breakdown in communication that led to her death, according to her husband.

    "Our entire emergency response system failed her," Peter DeMarco told NBC News in an exclusive interview about his wife's 2016 death.

    Laura Levis, 34, was having an asthma attack and went to Somerville Hospital where she had trouble finding the emergency room entrance. She went to one door, which was locked.

    Panicking outside the emergency room, Levis called 911. The call went to a regional operator 18 miles away.

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    "I'm having an asthma attack, I'm dying," Levis told the operator.

    The regional operator passed the call to local police, but without crucial details such as Levis' exact location.

    Eventually, a nurse stepped outside the door to look for Levis, but didn't see her on a bench 70 feet away. Five minutes later, a firefighter found Levis and administered CPR. She died about a week later.

    DeMarco detailed the events that led to his wife's death in a Boston Globe Magazine article and says he hopes to shed light on the system failure and save other peoples' lives.


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