Focus: Disaster Resilience

Fla. nursing home says Irma deaths not staff’s fault

November 28, 2017

A Florida nursing home under investigation for the deaths of 13 patients after Hurricane Irma sent a letter to Congress saying the staff members did everything possible but couldn’t overcome a lack of power to the central air conditioner, according to an article on The Washington Post website.

Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills attorney Geoffrey D. Smith wrote to the House Energy and Commerce Committee that employees followed proper procedures between the air conditioner losing power on Sept. 10 and when the deaths began Sept. 13. 

Smith said staff made repeated calls to Florida Power & Light, the state health care administration and Gov. Rick Scott to try to get the air conditioning power restored.

The facility’s main power never went out and employees used portable air conditioners and fans to cool the patients. There was no state law requiring nursing homes to have backup generators for their central air conditioners.

Read the article.



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