Dead Woman Had Temp of 109.9 in Nursing Home Tragedy

Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has had license suspended
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2017 7:24 AM CDT
Dead Woman Had Temp of 109.9 in Nursing Home Tragedy
This Sept. 13, 2017, file photo, police surround the Rehabilitation Center in Hollywood Hills, Fla.   (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

As far as euphemisms go, "resting in bed" is an extreme one. That's how a staffer at the Florida nursing home where eight people died after Hurricane Irma knocked out its air-conditioning described an 84-year-old in a entry made in the patient's log—after the patient had died. The New York Times reports on the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's investigation into the events of Sept. 13 at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. The agency on Wednesday suspended the facility's license, noting its staff neither called 911 nor moved patients to an adjacent air-conditioned hospital as the residents' temperatures rose to astronomical levels. The agency's statement puts it bluntly: This facility "presents a danger to every person on its premises."

As for those temperatures, Gail Nova, 70, experienced the highest, reports the Sun Sentinel: She died 10 minutes after arriving at the hospital, and her post-death temperature was 109.9 degrees. The center's logs didn't mesh with reality on several occasions, and the Times gives one example: A 78-year-old's records show a nurse recorded her as having a temp of 101.6 degrees at 4:42am. But the hospital where she had been taken around 4:32am had taken her temp, too—and it was 108.3 degrees. A lawyer for the Rehabilitation Center seemed unperturbed by the log discrepancies, saying it's typical for nurses to finish updating records once their shift is complete. The center further claims it took the appropriate steps in the wake of the outage, including calling an emergency line and leaving messages on Gov. Rick Scott's cellphone. (A 94-year-old survivor has sued.)

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