Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Florida Nursing Home's Irma Toll: 8 Dead After AC Knocked Out

Florida Nursing Home's Irma Toll: 8 Dead After AC Knocked Out

President Trump on Thursday traveled to storm-ravaged Florida and applauded how "very few people" had died in Hurricane Irma - which has claimed almost 70 lives in the United States and across the Caribbean.

Flora Mitchell answers questions from the media outside the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.

Firefighters and medics responding to an emergency call in Hollywood north of Miami found three people dead inside a building whose second floor the police chief later described as "extremely hot". Some of the patients admitted to nearby Memorial Regional Hospital had temperatures of up to 106 degrees, hospital officials said Thursday.

After the deaths were reported and the investigations launched, the Agency for Health Care Administration issued a moratorium keeping the nursing home from admitting any patients for the time being. "In fact, on Monday, September 11, Department of Health staff advised this facility to call 911 if they had any reason to believe that their patients were not safe". Detectives were at the nursing home Wednesday continuing the investigation. The facility's "overall rating", which includes staffing, fire safety and health inspections, was was listed as "below average".

The Florida Department of Health said that "at no time" did the nursing home "report that conditions had become risky or that the health and safety of their patients was at risk".

"Based on observation and interview, it was determined that the facility failed to handle, store, process, and transport linens so as to prevent the spread of infection", one part of the report said.

NextEra Energy Inc-owned FPL, which serves almost 5 million homes and businesses, expects to restore power to essentially all its users, in the eastern portion of Florida by the end of the weekend and the harder-hit western portion of the state by September 22. In both instances, the nursing home corrected these deficiencies.

The hospital has set up a hotline, 954-265-1074, so that families of nursing home residents can check on their loved ones. AHCA said the facility has an occupancy rate of 93 percent.

At the time, Michel was investigated by a plethora of agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the Florida Medicaid Fraud Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"This is inexcusable", Nelson tweeted.

The Florida Health Care Assocation, 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.

"We are devastated by these losses", he said in a statement.

Three people were found dead at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills and another three were pronounced dead at the hospital according to Hollywood officials.

Some 3.1 million homes and businesses, representing close to one-third of the state's population, were without power on Thursday. "Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were affected", the Sun Sentinel quoted Carballo as saying.

"We're with you today, we're with you tomorrow, and we're going to be with you until Florida rebuilds bigger and better than ever before", Pence said.

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