Irma: Eight dead in Florida nursing home after power outage

Irma: Eight dead in Florida nursing home after power outage

Five people have died at a nursing home in Florida after Hurricane Irma left them without power for days.

The home is directly across from a hospital.

Irma wreaked total devastation in parts of the Caribbean, where most of the deaths occurred.

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".

Other patients are in critical condition.

The rehabilitation centre is located across the street from Memorial Regional Hospital, the flagship facility of the Memorial Healthcare System and one of the largest hospitals in the state. The hospital never reported losing power during the storm.

Irma killed at least 29 people in Florida, plus seven more in Georgia and SC combined, authorities said.

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WLRN says the Rehabilitation Center had a history of poor performances in state regulators' inspections. In both instances, the nursing home corrected these deficiencies. Michel is listed in state corporate records as Larkin's president, as well.

That 2006 case involved a $15.4 million settlement.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said she had raised concerns with the utility on Tuesday about getting power to senior homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Carvelli found staff members proactive after they evacuated his mother.

"A lot of things were going on, it is just not a good place", Mitchell says of the nursing home, her voice shaking.

"The people who were working there worked hard to make a good outcome for our patients", she said. She said her 58-year-old sister, who can't talk or walk, has been there 10 years. "I have nothing", said Mercedes Lopez, 50, whose family fled north from the Keys town of Marathon on Friday and rode out the storm at an Orlando hotel, only to learn their home was destroyed, along with the gasoline station where Lopez worked. "Nobody's telling us nothing". One resident already was dead when police got a call about someone having a heart attack. Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez declined to share with reporters further details about the generator but noted "it was extremely hot on the second floor of the facility".

The entire facility -which has two wings- was evacuated.

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Police evacuated 115 residents on Wednesday (Sep 13) from the facility, whose air conditioning was cut by the storm. "But between 1:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. Wednesday, 'several residents suffered respiratory arrest or cardiac distress, ' the complaint said".

The Florida Health Care Association, a long-term care industry group, released a statement Wednesday morning framing the deaths within the context of Irma's brutal blow to the state.

Rehabilitation Center officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

"Approximately 150 facilities out of the almost 700 (nursing) facilities in the state do not now have full power services restored", the statement said.

The facility reported yesterday that its fans and spot coolers were in working order, and that it had power, according to the statement.

Relatives of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills patients are asked to not go to the hospital to check on their loved ones, instead they should call (954) 265-1074 to check on them.

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