Death of 8 at Florida nursing home sounds alarms after Irma

A buoy sits on an eroded beach caused by Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13 in Vilano Beach Fla. Five people have died from a nursing home in Hollywood Fla. that lost power in the wake of Hurricane Irma and dozens more had to be evacuated to a nearby hospital

Eight die in sweltering Florida nursing home without power in Irma's aftermath

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

It didn't dawn on him that something could be terribly wrong.

Dozens of nursing homes continued Thursday to lack electricity or had been evacuated because of Hurricane Irma, as the state grappled with the deaths of eight residents of a Broward County facility that did not have air conditioning.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has said that restoring power to hospitals and nursing homes was a priority. "I don't know what happened inside". "If they find that this facility was not meeting the state's high standards of care, they will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law".

The center lost power sometime after the storm and was without its air conditioning system for about three days.

Asked what she'd like to say to the facility's owner, Craig said, "We coming for you".

As the days passed, she saw that residents were kept outside their rooms in the hallways.

Officials have said the interior of the building was extremely hot, and that staff were scrambling in vain to lower temperatures with fans and portable cooling units.

The deaths came as people trying to put their lives back together in hurricane-stricken Florida and beyond confronted a multitude of new hazards in the storm's wake, including tree-clearing accidents and lethal fumes from generators.

The calls started at 5:34 p.m. Monday. After the second call, fire officials called the state Department of Children and Families to report concerns about the facility. As a precaution, Hollywood police officers were checking on the 42 other assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in the area.

The video gives a glimpse into some of the conditions inside the facility Tuesday night before a series of 911 calls brought firefighters to the facility, where three people were found dead on the second floor.

Four more died in hospitals after paramedics and emergency medical staff helped evacuate the sweltering facility.

The utility refused to answer any specific questions about the nursing home case.

In addition to naming the rehabilitation center, the complaint also lists the nursing home's manager, Dr. Jack Michel; the administrator, Jorge Carballo; the financial officer, Mark P. Early; and the director of nursing, Maria Colon.

Stepped-up safety checks were conducted around the state after eight deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which shocked Florida's top leaders as they surveyed destruction from the punishing storm.

The center said the hurricane knocked out a transformer that powered the air conditioning. "We are fully cooperating with all authorities and regulators to assess what went wrong and to ensure our other residents are cared for". Trump tweeted Wednesday that he planned to meet "with our great Coast Guard, FEMA and numerous fearless first responders & others".

"We're talking to all of our nursing homes", Scott said.

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

One of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, Irma bore down on the Caribbean with devastating force as it raked the northern shore of Cuba last week. The association has said it is working with the state to identify homes without power in greatest need so utility companies can prioritize them. Instead of caving to lobbyists and dismantling critical regulations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should improve enforcement so that no more people in nursing homes end up dying for no good reason.

President Donald Trump told Florida hurricane victims his administration is "there for you 100 percent" as officials moved urgently to safeguard the state's vulnerable elderly and restore power to millions of homes and businesses still without electricity.

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