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News Worms


Authorities open investigation into Florida nursing home deaths

Authorities open investigation into Florida nursing home deaths

Eight patients at a sweltering Hollywood nursing home died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath, authorities said yesterday, as people confronted a multitude of new hazards in the storm's wake, including tree-clearing accidents and lethal fumes from generators.

The Sun Sentinel reported that Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said authorities are conducting a criminal investigation of the deaths.

"If they find that anyone wasn't acting in the best interests of their patients, we will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law", Scott said. Yesterday afternoon, the facility reported to the AHCA that they had power and access to fans and spot coolers provided by Memorial Healthcare.

Another assisted care facility for dementia patients in Fort Myers, Florida, went without power for three days after Hurricane Irma.

"We do know that we had portions of the facility energized, and that's really at this point what I can share to you", Gould said.

Three people were found dead at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills and another three were pronounced dead at the hospital according to Hollywood officials. Speaking to the press after the incident, Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy expressed his disappointment at how a tragedy of such magnitude could have happened. "Unfortunately, emergency services were called obviously too late".

Family members are now hoping new regulations will be put in place, that will require nursing homes to have generators on hand at all times.

But on some other quality indicators, the nursing home was below average.

More than 100 residents were evacuated from the facility, Broward County Deputy Fire Rescue Chief Tim Keefe said at a news conference earlier Wednesday. It shouldn't be up to administrators in nursing homes to make those judgment calls. Crews found several patients in varying degrees of medical distress and immediately began treatment.

Not counting the nursing home deaths, at least 15 people in Florida have died under Irma-related circumstances, and six more in SC and Georgia, many of them well after the storm had passed.

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".

As a precautionary measure, police are checking the other 42 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the city of Hollywood, Sanchez said.

The nursing home said it was prepared for the hurricane, which slammed into Florida early Sunday morning.

An estimated 150 facilities out of the almost 700 in the state are now without full power services, the association said. The association is working with the state to identify homes without power in greatest need so utility companies could prioritize them. The two - among the thousands of power-line workers brought in from out-of-state by major utilities - spent about five minutes outside a house in Fort Lauderdale, when two cars with women who said they lived in the neighborhood stopped to inquire about the return of power to their homes - obviously trying to get their attention.

As patients suffered at the Rehabilitation Center, help wasn't far away: The facility is located across the street from a medical complex that includes the Memorial Regional Hospital - where the center's patients were taken after the scope of the problem became evident.

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