10th resident of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills dies

Martha Murray, 94, pronounced dead Wednesday

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A 10th resident of a Hollywood nursing home that had an air-conditioning issue after Hurricane Irma has died.

Martha Murray, 94, died Wednesday, the Hollywood Police Department announced Thursday.

Murray was the most recent resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills to die from heat-related issues in the days after Irma.

"It's disgusting," Gov. Rick Scott said. "My heart goes out to every one of those family members who lost a loved one." 

The Agency for Health Care Administration announced Wednesday that it issued an emergency suspension order on the license of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. 

According to the order, residents at the facility had body temperatures of more than 100 degrees when they arrived at Memorial Regional Hospital, across the street from the nursing home.

Justin Senior, secretary for the state agency, wrote in the order that the facility also made many "late entries" into patients' medical records, claiming that the entries were made "under dubious circumstances" hours after a nurse visited the patients.

One of the people who died last week had a body temperature of 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit, while others had body temperatures of 108.5, 108.3 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit, the order claims.

The AHCA previously banned the facility from admitting new patients and from receiving Medicaid. The nursing home has filed a lawsuit trying to block those orders.

"We just simply can't allow natural disasters like a hurricane to knock out power and then to put the frail, elderly's lives in jeopardy because of the heat," Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said.

A tip line has been established by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Investigators are asking anyone with information about the deaths or the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills between the dates of Sept. 9 and Sept. 13 to call (866) 452-3461.  

Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.