A 9th nursing home patient has died as a result of power outages caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida. The power outages caused the air conditioning to stop working and as a result the facilities reach dangerously hot temperatures.
Nursing home residents at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, FL were evacuated from the nursing home last Wednesday morning after the medical staff from the nearby Memorial Regional Hospital began to see nursing home patients in the emergency room with “extraordinarily high temperatures.” Some of the patients who were admitted to the hospital had temperatures of up to 106 degrees. Once hospital staff realized something was wrong at the nursing home, they began evacuating patients from the nursing home to the hospital on stretchers. A lack of backup power is being investigated as a main factor that contributed to the deaths
Around the country, facilities have been caught unprepared for emergencies that don’t come close to the severity of a hurricane like Irma that hit Florida earlier this month. Nursing home inspectors issued 2,300 violations of emergency-planning rules during the past four years. 536 of those citations were for failure to maintain comfortable and safe temperature levels for residents. In addition, a third of U.S. nursing homes have been cited for failing to inspect their generators each week or to test them monthly.