Post-Irma Deaths Bring Probe for Florida Nursing Home

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Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said the incident began with a call this morning about a patient having a heart attack.

Police were first called to the facility at about 4:30 a.m. but authorities did not arrive until after 6 a.m., officials said. The center was left without full air conditioning after the hurricane hit, and the deaths stirred outrage over what many saw as a preventable tragedy. While this nursing home was given a level of priority, in working with county officials, other critical facilities, such as hospitals and 911 centers, were identified as higher priorities.

The nursing home eventually evacuated all of its patients Wednesday morning at the order of the responding crews.

But most of the surviving patients "have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues", Regional Memorial Hospital spokesman Randy Katz told reporters.

On Thursday, Storey revealed that portable AC units were being used in an attempt to cool the center's roughly 150 patients who were inside days after the storm.

Scott on Saturday blamed the nursing home for what he described as its failure to protect life.

"Irma sustained 185 miles per hour winds, which was one of the strongest wind speeds ever recorded for a hurricane", according to Vox.

Police had evacuated 115 residents on Wednesday to other facilities in the area.

Irma hit Florida about two weeks after Hurricane Harvey pounded Houston, killing about 60 people and causing some US$180 billion in damage, mostly from flooding.

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Calls to the owner and other officials at the Hollywood home were not immediately returned, but the facility's administrator, Jorge Carballo, said in a statement that it was "cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome".

The ex-husband of 71-year-old victim Gail Nova said her devastated family believes the facility should lose its license.

In Hollywood, the Rehabilitation Center said the hurricane had knocked out a transformer that powered the air conditioning.

Assisted living facilities across the state serve an additional 92,000 residents.

When FPL finally did arrive at the Hollywood Hills nursing home Wednesday, after the patients had died, it took FPL workers approximately 20 minutes to get the nursing home back up and running.

She adds that utility providers have said they hope to have power restored for all of southeastern Florida by the weekend.

As a precaution, police are also visiting 42 other facilities in the city to make sure patients are okay. "Maybe it did maybe it didn't, we don't know yet", he said.

With the death of the eight patients, many friends and family members of patients in the home are now highly concerned with the conditions their loved ones may have been in.

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