911 calls paint frantic picture of Hollywood nursing home after Irma

14 residents died after air conditioning stopped working

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The emergency calls to 911 operators from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills started on Sept. 11 and only grew more urgent over the next two days.

Fourteen residents died after the air conditioning stopped working in the days after Hurricane Irma.

The 911 calls made by staff members paint a picture of how frantic the situation was in the center during the air conditioning outage.

One caller said that a "patient is a COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patient. The doctor noticed, because we don't have any air conditioning, so I saw her slouch over. I realized that she's not breathing, so I check her. She's just barely breathing. Her fingers started to change color, you know, slightly blue."

That caller went on to tell the dispatcher that the patient was 84 years old, had a blood pressure reading of 118/68 mmHg and was in cardiac arrest.

Another caller said that a patient was "breathing distressed, about to code." 

In one call, a dispatcher mentioned the number of calls coming in from the center.

"You guys called already about this? Or this is a new call?" the dispatcher asked.

It was a new call for a different patient. In all, more than 140 people were removed from the facility, which has since been shut down.

Eight residents died on Sept. 13 and six have died since.



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