6 dead at nursing home from Irma aftermath

Ruben Ruiz
September 17, 2017

Eight people at a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma have died, BBC reports. Prosecutors say that after he bought the hospital in 1998, Michel and others fraudulently increased the number of patients at the facility, along with their Medicare and Medicaid revenues, by bringing in patients from nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Another 115 residents were evacuated.

It seems that things initially went downhill when the nursing home's air conditioner was crushed by a tree.

"As with millions of other Floridians, our centers are coping with the loss of power and infrastructure in the communities that were most affected by the devastation", the Florida Health Care Association said in a statement Wednesday.

Officials said 18 additional patients from a second adjoining facility were also being relocated due to the investigation, though these patients were "not medically compromised". Details on the remaining deaths were not immediately known. "Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe - especially patients that are in poor health".

Even in the face of a storm that shrouded almost the entire state and had officials still piecing together its destruction, the news Wednesday from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills stood out, with victims as old as 99 among the dead and worries the count could grow.

Some residents there awoke sick, the Miami Herald reported.

"Based on observation and interview, it was determined that the facility failed to handle, store, process, and transport linens so as to prevent the spread of infection", one part of the report said.

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The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is responsible for the safety of their patients. The facility itself has power, the individual said.

Time and again, natural disasters have claimed residents of nursing homes and other senior communities. But just hours after the first call, responders who had arrived to fully evacuate the nursing home found the situation was far worse than the 911 calls had indicated.

Police officers talk to an employee at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.

Some already had evacuated, she said, in some cases going to neighboring states that hadn't suffered Irma's widespread heavy winds. AHCA said the facility has an occupancy rate of 93 percent.

"We're conducting a criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred here", Tomas Sanchez, the Hollywood police chief, said at a news briefing Wednesday.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson has asked the nation's largest cable, telephone and internet providers for rebates to Hurricane Irma victims for service interruptions.

The nursing home had a generator but it doesn't provide power to the facility's air conditioning.

Other reports by GizPress

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