Complaint filed in Hollywood nursing home deaths

Pauline Gross
September 17, 2017

Hollywood officials said eight people between the ages of 71 and 99 died at the for-profit Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, but the causes were not yet determined.

Dr. Randy Katz, medical director of the emergency department at Memorial Regional Hospital, said the hospital began receiving patients early on Wednesday.

Nursing home administrator Jorge Carballo said in a statement that the facility was evacuated Wednesday "due to a prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane". Flood coverage premiums average US$450, providing coverage of $250,000 on the structure and $100,000 for the contents, says the Insurance Information Institute. "We are fully cooperating with all authorities and regulators to assess what went wrong and to ensure our other residents are cared for". The fact is that this facility never called 911.

In the middle of the video, the camera moves into the hallway where a naked woman is hunched over on what appears to be a hospital bed.

The complaint asks for the preservation of all video and photographs taken in the nursing home from September 8, the day before South Florida was expected to start experiencing increased winds from Hurricane Irma, to September 13.

In all, 141 patients were evacuated from the facility.

A spokesperson for the nursing home did not respond to detailed questions about the events. White House officials say Trump also plans to visit the devastated US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico soon.

The centre had been without air conditioning, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told reporters on Wednesday.

By Tuesday, relatives of residents say the halls were sweltering, and local authorities and Florida Power and Light say they had been contacted by then, but administrators did not call for an evacuation.

In a notes field, it states: "Have spot coolers and fans".

The database appears to show the next update from the facility was not until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday - leaving a almost 46-hour gap in the updates, as reflected in the database.

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Florida's governor called on first responders Wednesday to check health care facilities statewide in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The Florida Health Care Association also released a statement calling the situation "a profound tragedy".

Attempts by Reuters to reach representatives of the for-profit nursing home by phone and email went unanswered.

Federal law now requires that nursing homes be kept between 71 and 81 degrees and have a backup power source in case of emergency.

In addition to severe flooding across Florida and extensive property damage in the Keys, residents faced widespread power outages that initially plunged more than half the state into darkness.

Florida officials have made restoring electricity to the millions who have lost power a priority and tens of thousands of utility company workers, many from out of state, are engaged in the huge effort.

"The people who were working there worked hard to make a good outcome for our patients", she said. The Center also had seven days of food, water, ice and other supplies, including gas for the generator.

Three agencies have launched investigations into how this happened, but many questions remain unanswered.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who said in a statement that he was "heartbroken" to learn of the deaths and planned to "aggressively demand answers", said he directed the AHCA and DCF to work with law enforcement on an investigation. Others were found in critical condition, some with trouble breathing, said Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story.

Tremblay, a Quebec City native, said she hopes those without coverage would have put money aside so they can face such a disaster.

This article will be updated as more is available. "We've seen you enough". It was "terribly hot", she added, but at least the elevator was working. "I just don't understand it", she said.

Other reports by GizPress

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