RISK Alert #924 Hollywood Nursing Home Deaths
Dateline, September 14, 2017, Fort Lauderdale, FL
8 DEAD IN HOLLYWOOD, FL NURSING HOME DISASTER AFTER IRMA. PATIENTS DIED AFTER GENERATOR FAILED AND TEMPS REACHED 100 DEGREES. CRIMINAL CHARGES FILED!
The impact of Hurricane Irma on healthcare care organizations in Florida came home yesterday when it was discovered that 8 elderly patients died in a nursing home just north of Miami, in Hollywood, Florida. Florida Gov. Rick Scott called the situation “unfathomable,” promising to “aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place.”
Hollywood police launched a criminal investigation, and agents from the state attorney general’s office and the state Agency for Health Care Administration were on the scene, authorities said. State officials closed the
facil Wednesday night and barred it from admitting new patients.
“This was a terrible incident. The scene was chaotic when I arrived,” said Dr. Randy Katz, medical director for emergency services at Memorial Healthcare System, where about a dozen of the 158 people who were evacuated from the facility were admitted for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues.
Katz said so many patients needed assistance that his hospital, which is just down the street, called in more than 50 doctors, nurses and other staffers under a mass casualty protocol.
Fire crews were first called to the Hollywood Hills facility at 3 a.m. ET for a report of a cardiac arrest. More fire and emergency response crews were sent when a second call came in at 4 a.m. for a patient having breathing issues, she said. Three people were found dead on the second floor, and by 6:15 a.m., a full-scale evacuation of the facility was underway.
The new CMS Final Rule on Emergency Preparedness stresses the Dr. Donald Miller, an ER doctor, added, “Nursing home patients are generally more frail than the normal population and we need to have controls in place to guard their safety in a crisis situation, like Hurricane Irma.”
1. Nursing homes need to be on a first name basis with other providers so they can shift patients to safer facilities during severe weather emergencies like Irma and Harvey. The new CMS Final Rule on Emergency Preparedness spells like the procedures for these emergencies.
2. The November 15, 2017 Deadline for 17 Healthcare Providers to finish their All-Hazards Facility Risk Assessments is fast approaching. Emergency Communication plans need to be finalized, in addition to staff training and community drills precisely to PREVENT THESE INCIDENTS IN THE FUTURE.
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