Home Health Death toll rises to 10 from Hollywood Hills Rehab Center that lost...

Death toll rises to 10 from Hollywood Hills Rehab Center that lost power after Irma

Hollywood Police confirm a tenth patient died yesterday, Wednesday, September, 20 after The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills overheated amid power outages caused by Hurricane Irma.

Per the Agency for Health Care Administration investigation’s initial findings, residents of the facility did not receive timely medical care because the trained medical professionals at the facility overwhelmingly delayed calling 911.

Also, these patients were not timely evacuated to the air-conditioned hospital located across the street. These patients ended up at the hospital with body temperatures of, for example, 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit, 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit, 108.3 degrees Fahrenheit, and 107 degrees Fahrenheit – far too late to be saved. The facility also made many late entries into patients’ medical records. The “late entries” were recorded hours after a nurse visited the patients, and therefore, portray an inaccurate depiction of the situation at the facility.

Agency Secretary Justin Senior said, “As more information has come to light on this egregious situation, this facility absolutely cannot continue to have access to patients. This facility failed its residents multiple times throughout this horrifying ordeal. It is unfathomable that a medical professional would not know to call 911 immediately in an emergency situation. The facility also entered late entries into medical records claiming safe temperatures for patients while those same patients were across the street dying in the emergency room with temperatures of over 108 degrees Fahrenheit. No amount of emergency preparedness could have prevented the gross medical and criminal recklessness that occurred at this facility. For that reason we will suspend their license and completely terminate them from the Medicaid program. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect patients in Florida – especially those who are frail and can’t take care of themselves.”

Yesterday, the AHCA issued an emergency suspension order on the license of the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills. On September 13, the Agency issued a temporary moratorium on admissions for the facility, which stopped new patients from being admitted.

On September 13, the Agency also initiated an investigation of the facility and the preliminary results have shown that a permanent emergency suspension of licensure is warranted and necessary. This action will suspend their ability to operate a nursing home, and prohibit the facility from admitting any patients.

To date, the following residents have been confirmed dead:

  • Carolyn Eatherly, DOB 8-13-39
  • Gail Nova, DOB 2-22-46
  • Estella Hendricks, DOB1-4-46
  • Bobby Owens, DOB 5-16-33
  • Miguel Franco, DOB 9-5-25
  • Manuel Mendieta, DOB 8-26-21
  • Albertina Vega, DOB 10-10-17
  • Betty Hibbard, DOB 1-11-33
  • Carlos Canal, DOB 11-4-23
  • Martha Murray, DOB 1/10/23
David Volz
David Volz
David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.

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