911 Calls Reveal Chaos During Deadly Nursing Home Power Outage

Fourteen people eventually died from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills

“She's not breathing.”

A flustered worker at a sweltering nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, called 911 after a woman suffered cardiac arrest during a power outage after Hurricane Irma. A total of nine calls for help were made Sept. 13 from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as elderly and sick patients overheated inside the powerless facility.

The City of Hollywood released the 911 calls Monday, revealing the chaotic hours at the hot nursing home.

"They're having issues with orients and there may be causalities,” one caller said.

Fourteen people died as a result of the power outage. It appears the same bewildered facility worker made several calls to police.

“We don't have any air conditioning, so I saw her slouch over. I noticed she's not breathing, so I check her and she's just barely breathing,” the caller told 911 dispatch. “Her finger started to changed color; slightly blue.”

Some patients’ body temperatures reached close to 110 degrees, according to a state report.

“Is she in severe pain?” a dispatcher asked.

“No, she's in cardiac arrest," came the reply from the caller.

“I understand that ma’m, but we have to ask these questions,” the dispatcher said.

A paramedic who responded to one of the nine calls noticed the unbearable conditions at the nursing and advised officials to issue an evacuation. More than 130 patients were evacuated.

On Monday, representatives from the union representing health care workers from across Florida met in Miami with State Sen. Anitere Flores and others to discuss proper care and procedures for facilities in the event of another storm or natural disaster.

The CEO of Plaza Health Network is pushing for power lines at all nursing homes to be buried underground. She also wants patient vans to be categorized as a top priority when it comes to filling up with gasoline – an effort to avoid long gas lines if there’s a need to evacuate patients.

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