Florida Sets Emergency Generator Rules for Nursing Homes

Annette Crawford
September 18, 2017

The woman who shot the video sent it to her sister, Carmen Veroy.

City officials said eight others died.

Hollywood police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

The state's nursing home association said it tirelessly advocated help for its members before and after the storm. "We are fully cooperating with all authorities and regulators to assess what went wrong and to ensure our other residents are cared for".

A second call came an hour later - but by the third call for help, the facility raised eyebrows that the situation may become deadlier and deadlier as temperatures increased and the nursing home was left without adequate air conditioning.

The woman with the camera then goes out into the hallway, where a naked woman who appears to be sleeping or unconscious is slouched on a gurney. For nursing homes, this plan is required to be submitted and kept on hand by county emergency management officials.

Workers at the facility said Hurricane Irma caused the air conditioning to fail Sunday and they struggled to keep residents cool with fans, cold towels and ice.

In all, 141 patients were evacuated from the facility.

Three residents died in the facility and five more perished at the hospital or on the way. It continued making calls on Monday and Tuesday, including to the electric utility.

"With more than 100 people on the line, (Scott) would say, 'Look, we're going to get through this, we're going to get through this together, if any of you have an issue and you need to expedite it, call this number, '" Defede said.

He said he had been trying to have the unit fixed for days.

On Monday, FPL told the facility that it would be at there that morning, but utility representatives later said someone would come in the afternoon. She sustained heat-related injuries and had to be hospitalized as a result of the days-long failure of the nursing home's air conditioning system, the complaint alleges.

"At no time did the facility report that conditions had become unsafe or that the health and safety of their patients was at risk", the statement says. "I am also asking available first responders to immediately check in with the healthcare facilities in their area to make sure nursing homes and assisted living facilities are able to keep their residents safe".

"If they find that anyone wasn't acting in the best interests of their patients, we will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law", the governor said. In both instances, the nursing home corrected these deficiencies.

All nursing home facilities are required to have an emergency management plan.

Police have opened a criminal investigation.

In response to Defede's report, FPL released a statement that said the facility was supposed to have an operational generator. "Portable A/C units were being used in the facility, but the facility was excessively hot".

Gov. Rick Scott ordered an emergency moratorium on Wednesday to prevent the facility from admitting new patients.

AHCA and DCF have launched investigations.

Scott said in a statement earlier this week that he was "heartbroken" to learn of the deaths and planned to "aggressively demand answers". Others were found in critical condition, some with trouble breathing, said Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story.

Veroy's father had a 102-degree temperature, she said.

"We went by to see her the day before she passed away", Johnson told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday.

"She says, 'Jean, I can't breathe".

"She hadn't really died, but she was gone", said Johnson, who later got the call that her friend had passed away.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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