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Authorities open investigation into Florida nursing home deaths

16 Setiembre 2017, 03:19 | Bibiana Flor

Authorities open investigation into Florida nursing home deaths

Authorities open investigation into Florida nursing home deaths

The death toll has reached eight at a Florida nursing home that lacked air conditioning after Hurricane Irma, and three agencies have launched investigations into the tragedy. The city's police department is reportedly "conducting a criminal investigation into the deaths" that occurred at the nursing home. The director of an assisted living facility without power in Hillsborough County said he pleaded repeatedly for help as his patients sweltered; county officials said they were unaware of the situation. "Can't give you anything more specific than that at this point".

"Everything we're trying to do is all tied to power and so, we gotta keep getting these tankers in and get fuel everywhere around the state", Scott said. Memorial Hospital is also helping to evacuate the patients.

Some residents there awoke sick, the Miami Herald reported.

According to CNN, the nursing home has been cited in the past for safety violations, including two for not following generator guidelines in 2014 and 2016.

Katz said so many patients needed assistance that his hospital, which is just down the street, called in more than 50 doctors, nurses and other staffers under a mass casualty protocol.

Florida requires nursing homes to file an emergency plan with the county officials that includes evacuation plans for residents.

Firefighters evacuated 115 people from the nursing home.

Paramedics and fire-rescue crews were called to the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday.

He added that the patients who have been admitted to the hospital are mostly being treated for "respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues".

"Florida's long term care facilities and entire profession of caregivers join in expressing our deepest sorrow for the families of the residents who lost their lives earlier this week at one location", the statement said.

One of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, Irma bore down on the Caribbean with devastating force as it raked the northern shore of Cuba last week before barreling into the Florida Keys island chain on Sunday, packing sustained winds of up to 215 kph. No senior citizen in any of these facilities should fear dying after a hurricane because they could not stand the heat.

The association said it was working with officials to prioritise "the locations with the greatest need".

State officials, utility executives and the Rehabilitation Center spent Wednesday trading blame over why and how its patients were left to endure such conditions, even though state and federal regulations require nursing home residents to be evacuated if it gets too hot inside.



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