Elderly patients’ body temperatures were too high for them to be saved

The body temperatures of Florida nursing home residents who died after spending days in sweltering conditions ranged from 107 to 109.9 degrees.

Their temperatures were well above 98.6 degrees, which is considered normal body temperature, after Hurricane Irma knocked out the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills’ air conditioning.

State regulators said Wednesday that the nursing home was negligent in its efforts to save its patients, and that their body temperatures were already far too high by the time the center called for help, the Sun Sentinel reported.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration revoked the nursing center’s operating license Wednesday, saying that the facility’s residents were not properly attended to because “trained medical professionals at the facility overwhelmingly delayed calling 911.”

17 PHOTOS
Care facilities hit by Hurricane Irma
See Gallery
Care facilities hit by Hurricane Irma
Two days after Hurricane Irma, Rodriquez Benjamin, 86, stands in the door of his room waiting for help to arrive, without power, food, or water at at Cypress Run, an assisted living facility, in Immokalee, Florida, U.S., September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is seen in Hollywood, north of Miami, Florida, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
Guillermo Nunez speaks to the media regarding the condition of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills patient, Saga Garcia, the mother of his sister in law in front of the Center in Hollywood, north of Miami, Florida, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
Firefighters cross police tape with the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in the background in Hollywood, north of Miami, Florida, U.S. September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
Guillermo Nunez speaks to the media regarding the condition of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills patient, Saga Garcia, the mother of his sister in law in front of the Center in Hollywood, north of Miami, Florida, U.S. September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
City of Hollywood police officers were on hand for crowds of people and heavy traffic at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, north of Miami, Florida, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
A street sign lies askew across the traffic circle from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, north of Miami, Florida, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
Two days after Hurricane Irma, Mary Mitchell, 82, lays on a hospital bed in her room, without power, food, or water at Cypress Run, an assisted living facility, in Immokalee, Florida, U.S., September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
Two days after Hurricane Irma, William James, 83, sits without power, food or water, in his room at Cypress Run, an assisted living facility, in Immokalee, Florida, U.S., September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
Two days after Hurricane Irma, an elderly resident stand in a dark hallway at Cypress Run, an assisted living facility without power, food, or water, in Immokalee, Florida, U.S., September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
CAPE CORAL, FL -SEP 12: Barbara asked to be positioned near a large window to enjoy both the light and the slight breeze that came through the window hoping to get relief from the heat. -A visit to the Cape Coral Shores, a memory care facility, revealed difficult conditions for residents due to the fact that the home is still without power after Hurricane Irma. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CAPE CORAL, FL -SEP 12: Bob had been wearing protective cloth sleeves for his skin condition but as temperatures rose he was hot and uncomfortable so the nursing staff removed them to help him cool down. -A visit to the Cape Coral Shores, a memory care facility, revealed difficult conditions for residents due to the fact that the home is still without power after Hurricane Irma. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CAPE CORAL, FL -SEP 12: Russell is comforted by his guardian Liz Pendy as Russell and other residents endure uncomfortable conditions at the memory care facility that has no power. -A visit to the Cape Coral Shores, a memory care facility, revealed difficult conditions for residents due to the fact that the home is still without power after Hurricane Irma. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CAPE CORAL, FL -SEP 12: Kathleen watches traffic go by and is quite bored at the Cape Coral Shores memory care facility. She'd prefer to be watching her favorite TV shows or listening to the radio but cannot due to the power outage. -A visit to the Cape Coral Shores, a memory care facility, revealed difficult conditions for residents due to the fact that the home is still without power after Hurricane Irma. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CAPE CORAL, FL -SEP 12: Louis, who is an army veteran who fought in World War II, is among those living in difficult conditions at the Cape Coral Shores memory care facility. -A visit to the Cape Coral Shores, a memory care facility, revealed difficult conditions for residents due to the fact that the home is still without power after Hurricane Irma. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CAPE CORAL, FL -SEP 12: Residents of the Cape Coral Shores memory care facility kill time because due to the power outage they can't watch TV or listen to the radio. They also have no air conditioning. -A visit to the Cape Coral Shores, a memory care facility, revealed difficult conditions for residents due to the fact that the home is still without power after Hurricane Irma. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The agency also chided the facility for failing to transport its patients across the street to Memorial Regional Hospital, which had working air conditioning.

The nursing home is also under scrutiny for delayed entries into patients’ medical records, according to the report.

“This facility absolutely cannot continue to have access to patients,” Agency Secretary Justin Senior told the Sun Sentinel, describing the facility’s recklessness as “criminal.”

The nursing home’s license was suspended after it filed a lawsuit in a Tallahassee court Tuesday, denying negligence and seeking to resume operations.

All patients were evacuated Sept. 13 by hospital workers and city emergency personnel.

“There is no longer any emergency condition at the nursing home specifically or in the state of Florida generally...all electrical power for central air conditioning to Hollywood Hills was fully restored,” the lawsuit read, the Sun Sentinel reported.

A total of nine of the center’s residents, ages 70 to 99, have died in Hurricane Irma’s aftermath.

Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong, and who is responsible.

Patients’ medical records show that staff logged a number of their entries late, making them inaccurate and unreliable.

Carolyn Eatherly had a temperature of 108.3 when she was admitted to the hospital at 4:33 a.m. on Sept. 13, according to the order, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

She died less than 30 minutes later.

But her nursing home medical records showed she had a temperature of 101.6 degrees at 4:42 a.m. — when she was already at the hospital, near her death.

“It’s extremely disturbing that the facility made a late entry claiming the temperature of 101.6, when the resident was already dying at the hospital with a temperature of 108.3,” the Agency for Health Care Administration order states.

Another resident, who was found with “bluish lips,” had a temperature of 107 degrees before dying of heat stroke, the state contends.

Other residents’ temperatures were as high as 109.9 degrees before they succumbed to their deaths.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.