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Eight people dead after Florida nursing home loses power

17 September 2017

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said Wednesday three people died at the facility. Two other deaths were reported later Wednesday afternoon.

The 152-bed Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills provides short-term rehabilitation services and long-term care, according to their website.

His visit came a day after police in the Florida town of Hollywood launched an investigation into the deaths of eight patients at a nursing home. "It's a sad event". He says that as firefighters approached the home, their carbon monoxide detectors went off, which warned them of potential danger as they went inside.

But Scott's office defended the governor's actions, saying the facility never reported "that conditions had become risky".

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Timothy Keefe, deputy chief of Broward County Fire-Rescue, said his agency was assisting Hollywood agencies in evacuating the entire facility.

The manager of the nursing home has a history of health-care fraud accusations. It is rated "below average" on the Medicare website, which evaluates facilities based on performance in inspections, staffing and quality measures. Kitchen worker Jean Lindor said the center had power from a generator to cook meals, but no air conditioning. "We took part in emergency management preparedness calls with local and state emergency officials, other nursing homes and health regulators".

"This is an inexcusable tragedy that frail patients would die of heat exhaustion without it being recognized and taking them to the hospital next door", Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday. Their "error rate" for giving patients the wrong medical dosages was at 25 percent-the average is about five percent.

The center said the hurricane knocked out a transformer that powered the air conditioning. "The temperatures, particularly on the second floor, were extremely hot. In many cases, they've lost their homes and it's a tough situation". "Generally, we are treating dehydration, heat exhaustion and severe respiratory conditions, and we do have some critical patients".

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said last week it was "insensitive" to address global warming at this time. "There will be an investigation here and we will get to the bottom of it". "The investigators must have full access to all public records and transcripts of communications, meetings, and conference calls between the Governor, his Office, and healthcare facilities in preparing for Hurricane Irma".

The two storms combined killed about 150 people in the USA and the Caribbean islands and caused more than $30 billion in estimated damages, and Harvey brought record rainfall to Texas. This has cut off air conditioning for scores of Floridians, and it poses an acute danger for the particularly young or old in a state known for its sweltering temperatures. The storm has presented risks and challenges for the elderly population in Florida, where about 1 in 5 residents are age 65 or older.

Like many places in South Florida, the nursing home has been without power since being whipped by tropical storm winds with hurricane gusts on the edge of Hurricane Irma.

Not counting the nursing home deaths, at least 17 people in Florida have died under Irma-related circumstances, and six more in SC and Georgia, many of them well after the storm had passed. The remote island chain stretches almost 160 kilometres into the Gulf of Mexico from Florida's southern tip, connected by a single highway and series of bridges.

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Eight people dead after Florida nursing home loses power