8 Nursing Home Residents Dead in Hollywood, Florida After Hurricane Irma
There are several ongoing investigations at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Florida. Eight nursing home residents died after the facility lost some power including their air conditioning after Hurricane Irma struck the state.
Florida has experienced power shortages throughout the state, along with oppressive heat and humidity. The deceased ranged in age from 71 to 99 years of age.
According to news reports, The Center had power during the hurricane, but lost a transformer that controls the air conditioning and contacted Florida Power & Light several times for assistance and repairs. The Center had a history of safety issues and violations. Its recent health-inspection rating was determined to be “much below average.”
Florida’s governor advised that state officials had been in contact with the Rehabilitation Center and told the administrators to call 911 if the health or safety of patients was in jeopardy.
Federal and state regulations mandate that nursing home residents are to be evacuated if conditions become too hot in the facility. Florida requires that nursing care facilities have emergency power, staff, food, water, staffing.
In general, nursing homes are required, at minimum, to have comfortable and safe conditions according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
Families with loved ones in nursing homes in Florida are advised to contact the facilities’ administrators to ensure that the facility has adequate power or back-up generator and air conditioning so that the residents remain safe. They should also inquire about the facilities’ evacuation plans in the event of power failure.
Attorney Sean Domnick observed, “The investigation should provide answers to how this senseless, preventable tragedy occurred. Before placing a loved one in a facility, families should diligently look at a state’s past inspection records of a facility for violations concerning safety and negligence. These would be alarming red flags.”