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5 dead after AC issue that forced evacuation of Hollywood nursing home
17 September 2017, 03:08 | Glen Norman
Hollywood Hills Florida
"The tragic and senseless loss at Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center is the subject of a criminal homicide investigation by law enforcement".
A third call later came in as well, police said. A patient had gone into cardiac arrest - and died.
More than 140 residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were evacuated on Wednesday after fire and rescue crews and medical staff from a nearby hospital found numerous facility's residents suffering from dehydration, heat stress and breathing difficulties. Eight people died and 145 patients had to be moved out of the stifling-hot facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. The building has been sealed off while police investigate. Within hours of the tragedy, Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio planned to address at a joint news conference Wednesday morning with growers.
On Saturday, Scott ordered the directors of the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Elder Affairs to issue emergency rules to keep residents safe in health care facilities during emergencies.
The nursing home fatalities brought Florida's death toll from Irma and its aftermath to 31.
A new cellphone video has surfaced showing conditions inside the Hollywood Hills nursing home where residents - including one in the nude - were kept in sweltering heat before eight of them died after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. But it was nurse Judy From, at a hospital just across the street, who walked over with colleagues to find out for herself what was happening.
"They've never seen a category like this come in because it came in really at a five", he said. Kitchen worker Jean Lindor said the center had power via a generator to cook but no air conditioning.
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Frum called her facility, Memorial Regional Hospital, to issue a mass casualty alert.
Search-and-rescue teams made their way into the more distant reaches of the Keys, and an aircraft carrier was positioned off Key West to help. She finally found her mother, with doctors from Memorial already applying ice and giving her intravenous fluids.
PINA: Thank God she is.
The Rehabilitation Center said the hurricane knocked out a transformer that powered the air conditioning.
The utility refused to answer any specific questions about the nursing home case.
City and state officials said they were in contact with the nursing home for three days and advised them to call 911 if they believed that the health or safety of patients was at risk. Several other residents are reported to be in critical condition.
Medical staff from a nearby hospital said that residents were suffering from dehydration and breathing difficulties. They kept saying, we will get to it; just have patience.
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Certified nursing assistant Natasha Johnson, who left the facility weeks ago for another job, said she didn't understand why the center didn't transfer patients to the hospital sooner. "I don't want to see you next week in another disaster. How am I going to last here?" she said, as a tear rolled down her cheek. It shouldn't be up to administrators in nursing homes to make those judgemental calls.
Another 18 patients in an adjacent behavioral health facility are also being evacuated, Story said.
The governor's office denies being contacted by the nursing home, saying "at no time" did the facility report conditions had become risky.
Lawyers for the family of one of the victims are suing the facility, seeking the release of records in hopes of shedding light on what took place Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
"That is a hard proposition", she said.
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WLRN says the Rehabilitation Center had a history of poor performance in state regulators' inspections. State officials continued to survey the damage left from the powerful storm on Wednesday, with Gov.
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