Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Power still out at 50 Florida nursing homes

Power still out at 50 Florida nursing homes

Five people in Hollywood, Fla., nursing home died after the facility lost air conditioning to Hurricane Irma's destruction, according to Florida's Sun Sentinel. Three people were pronounced dead at the scene, three others passed away at the hospital, and two more patients were reported dead later Wednesday afternoon. Several others are reportedly in critical condition.

"Most of the patients have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues", says Doctor Randy Katz, medical director of Memorial Regional's emergency department. After a third rescue call, around 5 a.m., the hospital's staff was concerned enough to walk down the street to check the building themselves.

Without the fuse, he was unable to fix the unit.

Temperatures reached over 30 Celsius degree on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In recent years the facility has been cited twice for violations related to federal requirements about its backup power capabilities.

Governor Rick Scott said he was "absolutely heartbroken" to learn of the deaths of the elderly retirees.

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Scott said in a statement earlier this week that he was "heartbroken" to learn of the deaths and planned to "aggressively demand answers".

The nursing home was aware on Sunday that its air conditioning "ceased to operate effectively" and placed portable air coolers and fans throughout the facility, according to the moratorium, which was signed by Justin Senior, secretary for the health-care administration. Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez declined to share with reporters further details about the generator but noted "it was extremely hot on the second floor of the facility". 'We've been calling and calling.

"There's nothing we can do", Long said.

Florida residents who evacuated ahead of the storm were facing lengthy traffic jams, meanwhile, as they returned to check out their homes after days in shelters or with friends or family.

"What we've seen is something extremely tragic that points to the need to having plans in advance when it comes to emergency preparation". Both expired by Wednesday, although one generator did make an encore appearance as the last residents were removed. Police officers are conducting welfare checks at 42 other nursing home and assisted living facilities across Hollywood.

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