Thursday, 14 September 2017

8 dead at nursing home after hurricane knocks out air conditioning

Eight people are dead after an air-conditioning issue that forced the evacuation of a Hollywood nursing home, police said.
Paramedics and fire-rescue crews were called to the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday.

While the causes of their deaths were not immediately clear, the facility, Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, evacuated all its residents to hospitals because of the cooling problem.
Most of the patients were treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues, officials said.

Officials said 18 additional patients from an adjoining facility were also relocated because of the investigation, though those patients were "not medically compromised."
Dr. Randy Katz, director of emergency services at Memorial Regional Hospital, which is next to the nursing home but is not affiliated with the nursing home, alleged there were extremely hot temperatures on the nursing home's second floor.
An individual handling air conditioning for the facility told WPLG that a fuse was damaged during Irma, resulting in cooling issues for the past few days. The facility itself has power, the individual said.
Nursing home administrator Jorge Carballo said in a statement that the facility evacuated this morning "due to a prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane."
"Unfortunately, early this morning several patients experienced distress and there were three fatalities at the facility" followed by other fatalities at "the hospital they were transferred to," Carballo said. "Facility administration is cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were affected."
The Florida governor's office said Department of Health officials were "in contact with Larkin Community Hospital Behavioral Health Services management and the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills over the past three days" and that "hospital administrators were advised to call 911 if they had any reason to believe that the health or safety of patients was at risk." The governor's office said on Tuesday "the facility reported to the AHCA [Agency for Health Care Administration] that they had power and access to fans and spot coolers."
The deaths are under investigation.
Police said a criminal investigation is underway and they are not ruling anything out.


























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