Legislators hurry to pass nursing home laws after Irma deaths

Legislators hurry to pass nursing home laws after Irma deaths

Hurricane Irma caused less flooding than expected when it passed through Florida this weekend, but its threat to the people in the state has not passed. While detectives sought clues to the deaths, emergency workers went door to door to look for anyone else who was at risk. Owner Ralph Marrinson said all five of his Florida facilities lost electricity after Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott called on Florida emergency workers to immediately check on all nursing homes to make sure patients are safe, and he vowed to punish anyone found culpable in the deaths.

She said she had yet to see any state or federal agencies or utility companies working on the ground yet. "We're supposed to be on a priority list, and it doesn't come and it doesn't come and frankly it's very scary".

Statewide, 64 nursing homes were still waiting for full power Thursday, according to the Florida Health Care Association.

During Hurricane Irma on Sunday, a tree fell onto a transformer that powered the nursing home's air conditioning system, Broward County officials said Wednesday.

The state's nursing home association said it tirelessly advocated help for its members before and after the storm. The group was working on a precise count.

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. The widow evacuated her Naples condominium with the help of police the day before the hurricane.

PINA: (Laughter) That's what I just said. Her home had no electricity or running water, apart from a trickle of cold water that was good enough for a shower.

"We need to know what happened to her", she said. The AP also reports that four people in SC and two in Georgia have died. The death toll across the Caribbean stood at 38.

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The video gives a glimpse into some of the conditions inside the facility Tuesday night before a series of 911 calls brought firefighters to the facility, where three people were found dead on the second floor.

"(Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills) called this number on three different occasions, they would get a call back from someone at the Emergency Operation Center who would say, 'Okay, we've heard you concern, we're on it, we'll take care of it, ' but nothing happened".

Nursing Homes are required to have agreements in place for transportation of their residents and agreements with at least one other facility to receive patients during times of crisis. By that afternoon, five more had died.

"Facility administration is cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome".

Rehabilitation Center officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The nursing home, which is housed in a two-story building, said it prepped for Hurricane Irma. "We worked with them". County officials released documents showing that the Hollywood facility was in compliance with that regulation and that it held a hurricane drill with its staff in October. When Defede called it Friday, he said he went to voice mail, as well.

Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Craig Mallak said after receiving some of the bodies for autopsies that the victims had been in poor health, and "it's going to be tough to tell how much was the heat and how much of it was they were sick already".

While the database does show 17 entries indicating times between Thursday and Wednesday where data about the center was extracted, nearly all of those entries simply repeat the information from the most recent previous update.

Officials have said the interior of the building was extremely hot, and that staff were scrambling in vain to lower temperatures with fans and portable cooling units. They kept saying, we will get to it; just have patience.

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