Hurricane Irma: Nursing home residents die after facility left without power

Calvin Saunders
September 14, 2017

Five residents of a Hollywood Hills nursing home left without power after Hurricane Irma have died.

"I am going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place", Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.

Dr. Jack Michel, a physician who serves as the president of Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, was involved a massive fraud scheme at Larkin more than a decade ago, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Time and again, natural disasters have claimed residents of nursing homes and other senior communities. The center has had electricity and air-conditioning problems after Irma.

Her daughter Madeleine Alvarez said they ultimately heeded firefighters' isntructions, despite doctors warning of her mother's fragile state.

Officials were investigating a number of deaths believed to be related to the storm, though it was not clear whether Irma was directly responsible in every case.

Hurricane Irma: Nursing home residents die after facility left without power

Irma cut power to millions of Floridians and killed more than 54 people across the Caribbean and southeastern United States as it rampaged across the Atlantic. The new rule would allow nursing homes to require that residents agree to arbitration in lieu of a dispute in court, a process that is argued to be more efficient, but also tends to be less favorable for the plaintiff and reward far less in compensation. The association added that it is working with state officials to identify homes without power so that utility companies could prioritize those in greatest need. Rescue workers found a portable gasoline generator running inside the home.

Dr Randy Katz, medical director of the emergency department at Memorial Regional Hospital, said most of the patients admitted to the hospital have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues.

Generators can also come with their own health risks after three people were found dead inside an Orlando home Tuesday from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. As of Wednesday, almost 60 percent of customers had electricity restored, according to Florida Power & Light.

Florida residents struggling to put their lives back together in Hurricane Irma's wake fell victim to new hazards, including oppressive heat, brush-clearing accidents, house fires and deadly fumes from generators. About 110,000 people remained in shelters across the state.

"We need to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep our seniors safe during this hard time", he said. She can't talk or walk.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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