Friday, 22 September, 2017

Deaths at nursing home sound alarms after Irma

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Elaine Woods | 17 September, 2017, 01:06

Eight people died Wednesday at a Hollywood, Fla., nursing home that was left without power and air conditioning after Hurricane Irma, county health officials said.

On Key West, at the end of the archipelago, hundreds of residents who had refused evacuation orders lined up on Wednesday outside the island's Salvation Army outpost for water and military-style rations after enduring days of intense heat with little water, power or contact with the outside world.

The governor said he has ordered a probe by state authorities.

Some 4.3 million homes and businesses were still without power on Wednesday in Florida and neighboring states, down from 7.4 million customers on Monday.

The nursing home released a statement saying it had a "prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane", CNN reported.

The center is a 152-bed, skilled nurse facility and is located across the street from the Memorial Regional Hospital, according to the center's website.

The California Department of Public Health, which regulates all long term care facilities, requires nursing homes have an alternate source of power for their medical equipment and oxygen supply.

Three patients died at the nursing home, and three others died after being transported to local hospitals.

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Statewide, Hurricane Irma left 39 nursing homes out of nearly 700 without power on Thursday. More than half the community of 15,000 residents lacked power.

Trump was traveling to Naples and Fort Myers on Florida's southwestern coast to meet with those affected by the hurricane and learn more about relief efforts.

After the outage, five women and three men ranging in age from 70 to 99 died at the Rehabilitation Center. "I am also asking available first responders to immediately check in with the healthcare facilities in their area to make sure nursing homes and assisted living facilities are able to keep their residents safe", Scott added.

Call after call was made from the Rehabilitation Center nursing home in Hollywood Hills, Florida to emergency services as elderly patients slipped into cardiac arrest and respiratory failure. "Our investigation has revealed its extremely hot on the second floor of the facility".

More than 90 special needs shelters were opened to help patients in need. County officials released documents showing that the Hollywood facility was in compliance with that regulation and that it held a hurricane drill with its staff in October.

"Our son was very uncomfortable - he couldn't sleep, he was sweating, and he was out of his routine", said Guillen, sitting in the lobby of the hotel with her family.

Total insured losses from the storm are expected to run about $25 billion, including $18 billion in the United States and $7 billion in the Caribbean, catastrophe modeler Karen Clark & Company estimated on Wednesday.

All across Florida and the American southeast, people have grappled with the aftermath of Irma, which slammed into the Sunshine State over the weekend and tore apart trees and buildings with slashing winds and pounding rain.

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