The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills

1200 N 35 Avenue Hollywood, FL 33021 (next to Memorial Regional) 954.981.5511
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For Immediate Release

September 13, 2017

Contact: Alia Faraj or Ron Bartlett 1-305-707-8320

Statement By: Jorge Carballo, Nursing Home Administrator

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills

Hollywood, FL – “The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills expresses its deepest sympathy to the family members of the residents who passed away following a prolonged outage of our air conditioning system due to Hurricane Irma. All other residents have been moved to Memorial Regional Hospital, where our medical and nursing staff continues to care for them.

“The Center and its medical and administrative staff diligently prepared for the impact of Hurricane Irma. We took part in emergency management preparedness calls with local and state emergency officials, other nursing homes and health regulators. While our Center did not lose power during the storm, it did lose one transformer that powers the air conditioning unit. The Center immediately contacted Florida Power & Light and continued to follow up with them for status updates on when repairs would be made. Outreach was also made to local emergency officials and first responders.

“In compliance with state regulations, the Center did have a generator on standby in the event it would be needed to power life safety systems. The Center also had seven days of food, water, ice and other supplies, including gas for the generator. Additionally, when the transformer powering the A/C went down, staff set up mobile cooling units and fans to cool the facility. Our staff continually checked on our residents' well-being—our most important concern—to ensure they were hydrated and as comfortable as possible.“We are devastated by these losses. We are fully cooperating with all authorities and regulators to assess what went wrong and to ensure our other residents are cared for.”

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Timeline from Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills

Sunday, September 10, 2017
  • The building has two FP&L transformers that provide electrical power. One powers life safety systems and the second one only powers the AC chiller.
  • At 3 p.m., electrical power in the building flickered and came back without generator assistance. The electrical power to the AC chiller went down and did not come back.
  • We made our first call to FP&L at 3:49 p.m. and created an emergency service ticket number.
  • Before the storm, we put our protocols into place (approved by ACHA) for disaster situations and on our own initiative, added ten spot coolers (with temperature gauges) and fans which were distributed evenly on the first and second floors.
Monday, September 11, 2017
  • FP&L told administrators they were coming in the morning to fix the electrical power for the AC Chiller. Then FP&L said they would arrive in the afternoon. FP&L did not show throughout the day. Care continued to be provided to all residents according to protocol.
  • At 5:36 pm, Natasha Anderson (VP at Larkin) contacted the Florida Emergency Information Line to report the A/C transformer issue. A representative gave her an emergency number in Tallahassee to call to report.
  • At 5:39 p.m., Anderson contacted the number provided, The Florida Department of Emergency Management Private Sector Hotline, and spoke to someone named Jorge. She explained the situation and asked that we be made a priority as we were a hospital and nursing home with 162 patients. Jorge said the matter would be escalated.
  • At 6:57 p.m., Anderson called Jorge back to see if there any updates to her emergency call. She was told there were not, and reassured our situation had been reported and escalated.
  • At 7:29 pm Monday, Anderson received a call from the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee informing her it was working on our emergency.
  • At 9:24 p.m., Anderson contacted the DOH emergency line again to say she had received no updates.
  • At 9:57 p.m., Anderson received a call from the DOH emergency line informing her that they were working on our request but had no updates. She again expressed the urgency of getting FP&L out to reset the A/C chiller transformer.
  • It’s important to note that through Monday, the building was still cool and the spot coolers were in place maintaining required temperatures.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
  • FP&L told administrators they would be coming to fix the transformer Tuesday morning. FP&L did not show up. FP&L later said they would arrive at the center Tuesday afternoon to fix the transformer. FP&L did not show up. Care continued to be provided to all residents according to protocol.
  • At 9:58 am, Anderson contacted the Tallahassee DOH emergency line to inquire about the status of her calls for help. She was told there were many hospitals and healthcare facilities with FP&L problems due to the storm. Anderson again asked to be made a priority due to the frail and elderly resident population.
  • At 12:53 pm we reached out to Memorial Regional Hospital and asked for additional spot coolers to help keep the center’s temperature maintained. These spot coolers were received and put in place at 3:15 p.m.
  • At 1:18 pm, we reached out to the Broward coalition and the coalition offered to send a mass email to all members to see if additional coolers could be provided. The email went out at 1:21 pm.
  • At 4:41 pm, Anderson received a call from AHCA on behalf of the EOC. AHCA was informed of all our efforts to obtain help and keep the building cool. AHCA said they would inform emergency response teams we still needed assistance.
  • Throughout the day, the center’s administrator (Jorge Carballo) and engineer (James Williams) called FP&L to try to get assistance.
  • Between 6 pm and 11 pm , a physician’s assistant rounded on patients to check that the patients were stable in light of the current conditions. Jorge C. was constantly rounding as the administrator (as a non-medical person) during this time frame.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
  • At 1:30 am the first patient (1) had tachycardia. 911 rescue was called by the Facility. The patient was stabilized and transferred to the hospital.
  • At 2:30 am 911 rescue was called by the Facility when a second patient (2) had respiratory distress. The patient was stabilized and transported to the hospital.
  • At 4:30 am, 911 rescue was called by the Facility as a third patient (3) went into cardiac arrest. Resuscitation measures were provided. Patient was pronounced dead at the center by 911 rescue.
  • At 4:30 am, while 911 rescue still there, a fourth (4) patient had cardiac arrest. However, the patient was on “do not resuscitate orders” and was not resuscitated. This patient died.
  • At 4:45 am, while 911 rescue still there, a fifth patient (5) had cardiac arrest, rescue 911 resuscitated the patient but the patient later died at the hospital.
  • At 5 am, our Director of Nurses was informed of the incidents. She recommended moving patients from the second floor to the first floor where it was cooler. Jorge Carballo was also contacted.
  • The evacuation of patients occurred in conjunction with local authorities and Memorial Regional staff, around 6:30 am.
  • FP&L arrived at our center to fix the transformer on Wednesday morning, hours after our residents began having health emergencies. Up to and through the evacuation, protocol was followed.
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The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills