February 24 2018

Criminal probe opens into eight deaths at Florida nursing home after Irma

February 24 2018, 05:41 | Van Peters

Florida Nursing Home Case: Many Questions, And Few Answers, After 8 Patients Die

The Latest: During Irma visit, Trump lauds Fla. governor

Some of the patients admitted to nearby Memorial Regional Hospital had temperatures of up to 106 degrees, hospital officials said Thursday.

Nursing home administrator Jorge Carballo said in a statement that the facility was evacuated Wednesday "due to a prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane".

Scott's administration shut down admissions to the Broward County facility on Wednesday, after the seniors died and the remaining residents were evacuated.

What are the actions taken by officials?

"It was unnecessary", Bendetta Craig, whose 87-year-old mother was among dozens of residents safely moved from the center, told reporters on Thursday.

FPL said it has returned electric service to 352,280 customers in the region who lost power from Irma.

Initial reports stated that 5 residents were found dead, but as the day progressed, 8 residents were declared dead and almost 150 were evacuated, with at least 12 in critical condition at Hollywood, Florida-area hospitals.

In addition to severe flooding across Florida and extensive property damage in the Keys, residents faced widespread power outages that initially plunged more than half the state into darkness.

Chicago, Illinois-based Levin and Perconti is widely considered one of the first firms in the country to handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases and has spent over 25 years vigorously fighting for the rights of our most vulnerable citizens.

The center had some electricity, but not enough to power the air conditioning.

How many staff members stayed at the facility - and did that number include doctors? City and state officials said they were in contact with the nursing home for three days and advised them to call 911 if they believed that the health or safety of patients was at risk.

Facing an untenable situation, doctors and fire officials ultimately made a decision to transfer all the patients to the hospital, where dozens were treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat exhaustion, officials said.

In the future, most scientists say, there won't necessarily be more hurricanes - just the potential for more hurricane-related flooding and destruction.

According to Tomas Sanchez, Hollywood Police Chief, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has been sealed, and local police have started a criminal investigation after the death of the patients, BBC reported. But after more deaths sparked new questions about conditions at the center, the body was claimed by the medical examiner. He added: "As of Tuesday, [the facility] was reporting that everything was OK, that it was using portable air conditioners and fans". "The center also had seven days of food, water, ice and other supplies, including gas for the generator". But the consensus among scientists is that the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels and warmer oceans, made those storms far more destructive than they would have been in previous decades.

Walking along a street in Naples Estates with his wife, Melania, the president encountered piles of broken siding and soggy furniture sitting on a front porch, and residents and volunteers who were happy to get a presidential visit. The Sun-Sentinel reports that Michel "has history of fraud charges".

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.

In 1997, before Michel owned Larkin, federal prosecutors say he was part of a kickback scheme that involved paying doctors for referrals and admission to Larkin Community Hospital. Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story said there were "a number of critical patients".

The president said his administration is "trying to keep them as happy as we can under the circumstances".

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