At Least 8 Dead At Florida Nursing Home After Irma

At Least 8 Dead At Florida Nursing Home After Irma

The state has also made urgent efforts to protect its vulnerable elderly residents after a string of home deaths at a nursing home. Four more died in hospitals after the sweltering facility was evacuated Wednesday morning in a chaotic blur of events that prompted checks of other nursing homes in the area.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday night that he directed the Agency for Health Care Administration to terminate the center as a provider for Medicaid, which provides health care for low-income individuals and families.

The Florida Health Care Association will host an emergency-preparedness "summit" in Tallahassee. Failure to comply with the new rules will result in penalties including fines up to $1,000 a day and the possible revocation of a facility's license, he said.

But it evidently was unprepared for the intense heat and debilitating humidity that had made Floridians miserable before the widespread advent of air conditioning - the kind of wilting heat that can prove deadly to the elderly.

"The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation inside", Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez told reporters on Wednesday. Our focus right now is getting every nursing home in the state back to full operations, so we can meet the needs of our residents. Three more were found dead on the second floor of the facility after rescue units were called in.

With such a high body count, there is little doubt that Irma turned the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills into a living hell - and now it seems clear that no one did enough to save those trapped inside without air conditioning - or called for help in time.

Detailing the problems identified this week by the Agency for Health Care Administration, member station WLRN reports, "In its complaint, the healthcare agency said that on September 10 the rehab center 'became aware that its air conditioning equipment had ceased to operate effectively.'".

Florida officials and utilities report Thursday afternoon that 2.31 million homes and businesses are still without power. The home was sued twice in 2016 over the deaths of two patients who allegedly died "from infection and dehydration - and the other from pressure sores".

In a statement, Richard Beltran, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light, said: "What we know now is that a portion of the facility did, in fact, have power, that there was a hospital across the parking lot from this facility and that the nursing home was required to have a permanently installed operational generator".

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In six days, 90 percent of all outages have been restored by more than 30,000 restoration personnel across Florida - the largest power restoration undertaking in history for a single state.

Jeffrey Nova learned of his mother's death from a journalist, after having tried in vain since Sunday to reach the home's nursing staff.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Thursday that more than 38,000 federal personnel are now working to respond to Hurricane Irma, including staff from the military and civilian agencies.

"So what I'm expecting is going to happen as soon as we're able to open the gates ... is you're going to see the crisis escalate again", Senterfitt said. Jon reports: "As of Tuesday, [the facility] was reporting that everything was OK, that they were using portable air conditioners and fans".

"You want to come back to power", he said. It was "terribly hot", she added, but at least the elevator was working.

"The challenge, I think, for us will be ... between here and Marathon", Key West City Manager Jim Scholl said.

"I'd have brought her here".

"She hadn't really died, but she was gone", said Johnson, who later got the call that her friend had passed away.

Johnson said the nursing home didn't have any ice to give her friend, who was ignored by the staff.

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