Video shows naked woman in sweltering nursing home where 8 died

Leslie Hanson
September 18, 2017

In Hollywood on Wednesday morning, Judy Frum, the chief nursing officer at the air conditioned hospital just across the street from the rehabilitation center, was working in the Irma command center when the emergency room notified her that three patients had been brought in from the nursing home. Homebound seniors found help from charities, churches and authorities.

On Friday, a Miami law firm filed a complaint against the Hollywood facility on behalf of the family of Albertina Vega, a 99-year-old patient who was one of the eight people who died.

Through a representative, Carballo told the SunSentinel newspaper that the home has a backup generator but that it does not power the air conditioning. Let's be clear: This facility is located across the street from one of Florida's largest hospitals, which never lost power and had fully operating facilities.

As of 5 p.m. on Saturday, Florida Power & Light said about 735,000 customers, or 15 percent of the utility's customers, were without electricity. "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".

Officials said about 1.9 million homes and businesses were without power, including 64 nursing homes. They don't sweat as much and they are more likely to take medication that affects body temperature. Both of her parents are still being treated after the ordeal, but she said she does not know which facility she will place them in when they are discharged soon.

"At this point we're better off taking care of them where they are". What are you going to do? Defede said. "Well, we're not sure and we're still trying to find out, but clearly the help did not come". But the most recent state inspection reports showed no deficiencies in the area of emergency plans.

Several nursing home administrators also said that prior to Irma's arrival, the governor gave the facility a cellphone number to contact him directly if there was a problem during the storm. The death toll across the Caribbean stood at 38.

Gov. Rick Scott's office released a statement Friday, saying the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills had not reported that conditions at its facility had become risky for patients.

The center said the hurricane knocked out a transformer that powered the air conditioning.

But by early Wednesday, the center had placed three calls to report patients in distress, prompting firefighters to search the facility. Eight people died and 145 patients had to be moved out of the stifling-hot facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. By that afternoon, five more had died.

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".

Scott announced the night before that he has directed the Agency for Health Care Administration to terminate the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as a Medicaid provider.

"It is clear that this facility can not be responsible for Florida's vulnerable patients, and therefore the State will stop them from providing care", Scott said in a news release. Because of what they said is the "high-profile nature" of the case and what they characterize as the center's "record of appalling conduct", the attorneys said they have reason to believe that the evidence in the defendant's possession may be destroyed, withheld or altered, according to the court document.

On Saturday, Scott ordered the directors of the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Elder Affairs to issue emergency rules to keep residents safe in health care facilities during emergencies.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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