Eight Nursing Home Residents Dead Following Hurricane Irma
Our Nursing Home Injury Attorneys Report Eight Nursing Home Residents Dead Following Hurricane Irma – What Went Wrong?
Hurricane Irma was a tragic event that will take a long time to recover from. Not only did the Florida Keys see catastrophic damage, but many other residents in South Florida experienced the consequences of not having power in combination with bad weather and a hot summer. As the country begins to mourn for all who were tragically lost in Florida and abroad, many questions arise as to what went wrong when eight innocent nursing home residents died of heat-related illnesses.
A nursing home in Hollywood, Florida is facing scrutiny, and many people are outraged after eight nursing home residents died from what is believed to be heat-related illnesses, according to NBC News. While the nursing home maintained most of its power throughout Hurricane Irma, one generator did fail, causing the temperature in the nursing home to skyrocket into the near-80 degrees. Early reporting indicates that 911 calls were not made soon enough and that the nursing home did not take enough action to remove these nursing home patients from the nursing home and transport them to a facility that had air conditioning.
After a 911 call was finally made, it was discovered that three individuals had already tragically died in the nursing home. Additionally, many of the ill nursing home residents passed away after being taken to a hospital to receive care. What is particularly alarming about this incident is that there was a hospital with fully functioning electricity within walking distance from the nursing home. Many people are asking why the nursing home did not swiftly remove vulnerable nursing home residents from the building and transport them to the nearby hospital.
This Hollywood, Florida nursing home has been cited in the past for violating regulations and has received an overall rating of 1 to 2 stars out of five, demonstrating that it has received historically poor ratings. At this time, the nursing home is on the defense and has voiced a number of excuses for why this tragic incident happened. It is too early to determine the extent of the nursing home’s liability for causing the deaths of eight innocent residents. Any lawsuits filed by family members of these lost loved ones will likely seek to uncover additional facts to link the nursing home’s conduct to the deaths of their loved ones.
Were These Nursing Home Deaths Preventable?
Because Hurricane Irma caused so much destruction, it is not surprising that many hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities lost power, placing patients at risk for suffering heat-related illnesses. However, the Hollywood, Florida nursing home had a duty to ensure it was taking every possible step to protect patients. By failing to transport its patients to the nearby hospital, it can be argued that the nursing home breached the duty of care owed to its elderly residents.
The early facts demonstrate that this was a preventable situation. However, it will take a significant period of time to fully investigate what happened, and who should be held responsible. In fact, in addition to facing civil lawsuits, this nursing home and its staff members may be facing criminal charges.
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