Florida nursing home deaths linked to Hurricane Irma's aftermath

Broward Mayor Announces Deaths at Hollywood Nursing Home

Police opened a criminal investigation at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, where two elderly residents were found dead at the facility and three later died at a hospital, officials said.

"What happened to those calls to the governor?"

"The investigation into this tragedy (at the Broward County facility) and the circumstances that may have contributed to it continues, and it would be inappropriate to comment on details until it concludes", the association said.

Florida's largest utility, Florida Power & Light Co, said western parts of Florida might be without electricity until September 22.

Several nursing homes have been evacuated because of a lack of power or air conditioning, while utility workers raced help dozens of others still lacking electricity as of Thursday. Some are in critical condition, she said.

Over the next few hours of Wednesday morning, the dire situation at the Rehabilitation Center for fragile, elderly people would come into clearer view.

The first 911 call from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills didn't sound ominous: A nursing home patient had an abnormal heartbeat.

"But time and time again, no one came", Defede said.

Around 115 residents of the retirement home in Hollywood, north of Miami, were immediately evacuated after a nearby hospital began receiving patients suffering from heat-related problems. If the nursing facility has such a generator, the plan shall provide for a seven day supply of fuel, either on hand or delivered prior to the emergency event.

An AHCA official at the state's emergency management center expressed concern Thursday to colleagues and nursing home industry representatives that some facilities have not been reporting their status to the Health STAT system twice a day, as required by the state during the disaster - suggesting power outages may be to blame.


"So it begs the question, what makes something a high priority?" Nursing homes across the state are getting new attention after eight patients died Wednesday. "And as of earlier today, I think the number was still in the 30s that still don't have power in Florida".

Not so, according to Defede.

"With more than 100 people on the line, (Scott) would say, 'Look, we're going to get through this, we're going to get through this together, if any of you have an issue and you need to expedite it, call this number, '" Defede said.

Ellie Pina - a daughter of one of the nursing home patients - told CNN she was anxious something like this would happen and that she spent "the whole day" on Tuesday calling the power company to alert it about the life-threatening situation.

Across the street from the stifling nursing home sat a fully air-conditioned hospital, Memorial Regional.

According to the city statement, Hollywood Fire Rescue team found many patients in varying degree of medical distress and hence immediately started treatment of those serious patients.

He's hoping the complaint preserves evidence for all families affected. It also seeks to preserve all records pertaining to air conditioning equipment, hurricane preparation, procedures to monitor patient temperatures and patient transfers.

The Hollywood Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation with the help of state, local and federal agencies. The program provides health care for low-income individuals and families.

Defede's report spurred a swift response from Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running for governor.

It barreled into the Florida Keys island chain on Sunday, packing sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 km per hour) before plowing up the Gulf Coast of the state and dissipating.

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