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Faulty AC may have factored into deaths at Florida nursing home

17 September 2017

City officials in Hollywood, Florida, said the nursing home had continued to operate with little or no air conditioning after power to the building was disrupted by Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida on Sunday.

Detailing the problems identified this week by the Agency for Health Care Administration, member station WLRN reports, "In its complaint, the healthcare agency said that on September 10 the rehab center 'became aware that its air conditioning equipment had ceased to operate effectively.'". And at the 15,000-resident Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines, where there were also widespread outages, rescue workers went door to door to check on residents and bring ice, water and meals.

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

Nursing home officials blamed a blown transformer for cutting power to the air conditioning unit.

"We want to make sure we interview everybody and see what they did and what they didn't do to make a determination, was there any criminal elements here", said Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez. She said Bobby Owens had been at the facility for more than 10 years.

The spokesman for the facility, Ron Bartlett, said that after the air conditioning stopped, workers continually gave residents water and ice.

Hurricane Irma is expected to be one of the mostly costly storms in history with losses estimated at US$20 billion to US$65 billion, including up to US$50 billion in the USA, according to risk modelling software company AIR Worldwide.

"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. He was using the generator to power his home after severe weather knocked out electricity in the area, Cooper said.

"It set off a red flag that something might be going on", said Frum, who grabbed a colleague and hurried across the street.

Paulburn Bogle, a member of the housekeeping staff, said the place had been hot but manageable the past few days. But after more deaths sparked new questions about conditions at the center, the body was claimed by the medical examiner.

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The initial state projection, including $157.8 million for pre-storm protective measures and $90.8 million for debris removal, had not been completed by some agencies, including the Department of Citrus and the Department of Education.

Gov. Rick Scott said officials were in contact with the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills over the past three days. "It's one of the things we're doing aggressively", Scott said. Yesterday afternoon, the facility reported to the AHCA that they had power and access to fans and spot coolers provided by Memorial Healthcare.

"I don't know what he's going to do, but I know that at a certain point, it ends for you, and we can't let it end". "If they find that this facility was not meeting the state's high standards of care, they will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law". Along with Michel, the Justice Department named Philip Esformes - whose name arose again last summer, when he was indicted after federal prosecutors accused him of leading "a complex and profitable health care fraud scheme that resulted in staggering losses - in excess of $1 billion".

The nursing home has had a list of safety violations and citations, including two for not following generator regulations in 2014 and 2016. In both instances, the nursing home corrected these deficiencies.

The incident raised concerns about the welfare of residents at other nursing centers.

The center, which police sealed off as a crime scene on Wednesday, was officially ordered closed to new admissions by the state's Agency for Health Care Administration.

At another assisted living facility near Miami, the manager said the building lost power Tuesday morning well after the hurricane had passed.

Stepped-up safety checks were conducted around the state after eight deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which shocked Florida's top leaders as they surveyed destruction from the punishing storm. They needed oxygen tanks. Another 42 nursing homes are being checked by police as precaution, and another 18 people at a nearby health facility have also been evacuated. And some people died on the road when they were evacuated.

Nursing home administrators released a timeline that showed they called Florida Power and Light multiple times after losing the air conditioning.

Faulty AC may have factored into deaths at Florida nursing home