Timeline released after Hollywood nursing home patient deaths

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A day after learning of the death of a ninth patient from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, the details of the days leading up to the tragedy are emerging.

With the death of 93-year-old Carlos Canal, the governor’s office and the rehabilitation center are releasing a timeline of events.

It began with Hurricane Irma, which struck South Florida on Sept. 10. In the coming days, nine patients from the rehab center would die.

The governor has ordered the facility closed. Now, the company is suing to re-open.

Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement, “The more we learn about this facility’s reckless behavior, the more concerning it becomes that the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center made the decision not to immediately call 911 or evacuate to one of the state’s largest hospitals located across the street, which never lost power.”

Based on the governor’s office findings and the center’s lawsuit, here is what’s alleged to have happened:

Sunday, Sept. 10

  • 3 p.m.: The rehabilitation center loses power to the air conditioning system.
  • 3:49 p.m.: Florida Power and Light is called.

Monday, Sept. 11

  • 5:34 p.m.: The center calls the governor’s cell phone, emergency hotline and Tallahassee.
  • 6:57 p.m.: Tallahassee tells the center the matter “is a high priority.”
  • 9:50 p.m.: A governor’s aid calls back, advises the center to call 911 if patients are at risk.

Tuesday, Sept. 12

  • 10:25 a.m.: The center calls the governor’s cell phone twice.
  • 12:53 p.m.: “The center requests to borrow coolers from Memorial Regional Hospital.
  • 3:15 p.m.: The coolers are received by this time.
  • 4:17 p.m.: The governor’s aid calls back, advises the center to call 911 if patients are at risk.
  • From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., the administrator checks patients, no issues are identified.

Wednesday, Sept. 13

  • 2:55 a.m.: Patient number one dies.
  • 3 a.m.: Patient number two has heart trouble. 911 is called, the patient is transported.
  • 4 a.m.: Patient number three has breathing trouble. 911 is called, the patient is transported.
  • 4:20 a.m.: Patient number four goes into cardiac arrest. 911 is called. Patient number five goes into cardiac arrest and dies. Patients number six, seven and eight begin to have issues.
  • By 6:30 a.m.: The facility is evacuated by the fire department.

The Florida Agency Health Care Administration said in a statement, Wednesday, “These patients ended up at the hospital with body temperatures of, for example, 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit, 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit, 108.3 degrees Fahrenheit and 107 degrees Fahrenheit — far too late to be saved.”

In a statement, Florida Power and Light says:

“As we emphasized before, during, and after Hurricane Irma, we urge our customers have electricity dependent medical needs, and who don’t have power to call 911, if it is a life threatening situation.”

In a separate statement Gov. Rick Scott says:

“This facility is failing to take responsibility for the fact that they delayed calling 911 and made the decision to not evacuate their patients to one of the largest hospitals in Florida, which is directly across the street.”

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