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Regulators move to permanently shut down nursing home after 14 died without AC

Megan O'Matz, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

"As part of our oversight responsibilities, we want to ensure the safety of residents and patients in nursing homes and other similar facilities during natural and man-made disasters," the committee chairman, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., wrote in a letter to AHCA Secretary Justin Senior.

In the latest state action against the nursing home, the Agency for Health Care Administration revealed that 59 of more than 140 residents lived on the top floor, including each of the eight residents who died on Sept. 13.

The Sun Sentinel reported earlier this month that all the initial victims lived on the second floor.

The nursing home "failed to recognize the potential health risk of the rising internal facility temperatures and humidity, affecting vulnerable elderly residents," the state contends.

The home had fans in resident rooms and 10 rented portable air conditioners on site, though one malfunctioned, according to the state agency.

Two of the working portable air conditioners were placed in an adjoining psych hospital, four on the nursing home's first floor and three upstairs to cool 16,000 square feet.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 13, the facility had 12 nursing staff working to care for more than 140 residents, the AHCA complaint says.

Five were certified nursing assistants, who take vital signs and feed, bathe and dress residents. Four were licensed practical nurses and three were registered nurses.

The previous day shift was staffed by 24 people, including 15 certified nursing assistants.

None of the many documents released so far by the city of Hollywood, the state or the nursing home show any doctor in the building the previous evening or into the early morning hours Sept. 13.

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