8 killed at Irma-hit Florida nursing home

Pauline Gross
September 17, 2017

The center where eight people died released a timeline of calls to state officials asking for help.

Relatives who have family members in the facility have started to gather outside the two-story gray building that is situated among a cluster of medical facilities and hospitals. He also said investigators will look into how many windows were open.

Five people at a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma have died.

"We are devastated by these losses".

Gov. Rick Scott called on Florida emergency workers to immediately check on all nursing homes to make sure patients are safe, and he vowed to punish anyone found culpable in the deaths.

Early Wednesday morning, after responding to three calls about patients there in distress, firefighters went through the facility and found three people dead and evacuated more than 150 patients to hospitals, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs, authorities said.

The woman with the camera then goes out into the hallway, where a naked woman who appears to be sleeping or unconscious is slouched on a gurney.

A statement from the city indicated the facility still had some power.

The facility has had a spotty inspection record, earning a "below average" grade Medicare's nursing home rating system.

At no time did the facility report that conditions had become unsafe or that the health and safety of their patients was at risk.

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Another 18 patients in an adjacent behavioral health facility are also being evacuated, Storey said.

Nursing home administrator Jorge Carballo said this week the center immediately contacted Florida Power & Light and continued to follow up with the utility for status updates on when repairs to the transformer would be made. Broward County said the home alerted officials about the situation Tuesday, but when asked if it had any medical needs or emergencies, it did not request help.

The center had some electricity, but not enough to power the air conditioning.

They began at 5:34 p.m. on Monday, with the first call going to the number Governor Scott was publicizing throughout the week. He said he had been trying to have the unit fixed for days.

A spokesman for Scott's office, John Tupps, said "every call made to the governor from facility management was referred to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health and quickly returned". The center showed deficiencies in maintaining fire and safety standards pertaining to exits and storage areas, as well as more serious problems with its generator maintenance and testing, according to February 2016 reports by Florida Agency for Health Care Administration inspectors.

Among the items the firm wants preserved: surveillance and cell phone video, documents or materials identifying all of the air conditioning equipment, policies and procedures related to identifying patient temperature and manuals that identify the criteria to transfer patients to a cooler area - whether in the facility or to another facility or hospital.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes, gives the Hollywood center a below-average rating, two stars on its five-star scale.

Legislation requiring generators at adult living facilities and nursing homes has submitted to bill drafting.

Police, assisted in their investigation by state and federal regulators, have said little about circumstances leading to the deaths of the patients ranging in age from 71 to 99.

Police were dispatched to the Rehabilitation Centre at Hollywood Hills on Wednesday, where they were met with "extremely hot" conditions on the second floor.

Other reports by GizPress

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