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Florida nursing home called governor's personal cellphone for help
17 September 2017, 12:56 | Max Haynes
'Unfathomable': Eight die in Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma
The recording shows the facility had power but workers were using an industrial-size drum fan sitting in front of two closed doors to move air through a hallway.
Rehabilitation Center officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Dozens of hospital workers prepared a command center outside the building and gave red wristbands to patients with critical, life-threatening conditions and yellow and green ones to those who were in better conditions.
A Hollywood Police spokeswoman said the 152-bed nursing facility-the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills-has lacked electricity, but she didn't know whether the post-Hurricane Irma power outage played a role.
Altogether, more than 100 patients there were found to be suffering in the heat and were evacuated, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs. One resident died at the facility Tuesday but, because the patient had a do-not-resuscitate order, was sent to a funeral home before police asked for the body, according to police. After additional crews arrived, three patients were found dead on the second floor of the nursing home, and several other patients were found to be in "varying degrees of medical distress", authorities said.
Nursing home administrator Jorge Carballo said this week the center immediately contacted Florida Power & Light and continued to follow up with the utility for status updates on when repairs to the transformer would be made.
Tremblay, a Quebec City native, said she hopes those without coverage would have put money aside so they can face such a disaster. She said Bobby Owens had been at the facility for more than 10 years.
He said the higher premiums could come from greater insurance losses and reinsurance companies determining there is a statistical increase in the risk that future storms will be more frequent and severe.
The first call went to the number Scott publicized about a hotline.
Glendale Owens, the daughter of one of the men who died, said she last visited her father in the nursing home Monday and everything seemed fine.
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The eight nursing-home residents who died were not the only seniors trapped by sketchy planning.
The physician listed in state records as the nursing home's manager, Dr. Jack Michel, ran afoul of state and federal regulators in 2004 over a hospital and group of assisted-living facilities he partially owned. That backup power must be able to keep temperatures in a safe range for nursing home residents and whatever provisions are stored there, according to more recent regulations that must be implemented by November 2017. The Broward County medical examiner identified three of the victims-all women over 70 years old-but hadn't yet determined the cause of death.
A Miami law firm Friday filed a court complaint against Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills following the deaths of eight residents at the facility Wednesday. "Portable A/C units were being used in the facility, but the facility was excessively hot".
It barrelled into the Florida Keys island chain on Sunday, packing sustained winds of up to 215km/h and destroying 25 per cent of homes before sweeping up the Gulf Coast of the state and dissipating.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has said that restoring power to hospitals and nursing homes was a priority.
"As you know, our state's been devastated", Scott said.
Johnson added that if Hibbard had been at home, she would've called 911 but since this was a nursing home she said she didn't want to "overstep" and stayed out of their way.
As Trump passed out food with Pence and the first lady, people thanked them for coming and seemed more interested in selfies than sandwiches. She saw harried staff members trying to get patients into a room where fans were blowing.
She questioned whether short staffing and fatigue on the part of overworked personnel may have factored in the crisis.
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