Making Sure Proper Nursing Home Care Continues During Hurricane Irma to Prevent Wrongful Death
Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities across Florida have evacuated the Sunshine State in advance of Hurricane Irma. With many nursing home residents taking refuge in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, experts advise vulnerable patients in the path of the storm be removed in case of power loss or structural damage.
Most importantly, nursing homes are still required to provide appropriate levels of care for vulnerable residents, whether inside the facility or inside an evacuation shelter. Failing to do so is considered nursing home negligence and may result in wrongful death or serious injury to residents.
Why Evacuate Florida Nursing Home and Assisted Living Residents in Hurricane Irma?
Nursing homes and ALF’s are built like fortresses. So why are residents being evacuated? Hurricane Irma poses a major threat to Florida’s power grid. FPL, the largest power provider in Florida, expects widespread power outages. In some areas, power can be out for weeks. This poses a threat to residents dependent on medical equipment for ongoing health issues.
In addition to the power issues, Hurricane Irma can destroy skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities that lie within the storm surge area around the eye of the storm. This can be fatal to residents.
The Impact on Residents When Nursing Homes and ALF’s are Evacuated
According to a recent study conducted by researchers, hurricane evacuation of nursing home residents with dementia has a major impact on their health. According to the study, there was a 2.8% increase in death 30 days within evacuation and a 3.9% increase in death within 90 days of evacuation.
If Evacuation Increases Death, Why Do It?
The alternative is much worse. Most nursing home residents cannot fend for themselves. In a disaster situation, they are unable to survive. Although evacuation and disruption of daily routines is problematic for demented patients, this is far better than putting the same vulnerable patients through a terrible hurricane.
As of Saturday morning, more than 200 Florida skilled nursing and assisted living facilities have been evacuated.
“Each facility has been instructed to prepare in advance seven to 10 days of medication, oxygen and other medical necessities for each resident. The facility packages the medications, along with the current orders, and sends (them) with the resident in the case of an evacuation . . . ” – Florida Healthcare Association Spokeswoman Kristen Knapp
When Failing to Evacuate a Nursing Home Results in Wrongful Death
Tragically, Hurricane Irma will like result in the wrongful death of Florida nursing home residents. Not every passing is preventable, however, if a nursing home failed to properly safeguard residents in the storm, this may be nursing home negligence.
Hurricane Irma Evacuation Nursing Home Lawsuit
If your family member died due to a poor nursing home evacuation plan in Hurricane Irma, contact the Boca Raton nursing home abuse lawyers at Senior Justice Law Firm. We help families of victims statewide in pursuing justice in Florida nursing home abuse claims.
If your loved one was wrongfully injured or killed due to a nursing home mistake, contact our compassionate and experienced nursing home abuse lawyers now for a free case evaluation: 1-844-253-8919.
Examples of Potential Causes of Action Against a Nursing Home for Negligent Handling of Hurricane Irma
Obviously, each nursing home’s performance must be evaluated in light of the circumstances presented by the storm. However, potential causes of action for nursing home negligence related to Hurricane preparedness include:
- Failure to properly evacuate nursing home residents before the hurricane.
- Failure to properly administer medication and preventing medication errors.
- Failure to bring required medical equipment like oxygen tanks.
- Failure to safely transport nursing home residents, resulting in injury.
- Failure to provide back-up power sources and generators to ensure medical devices remain turned on.
- Failure to provide proper nursing home hydration and nutrition.
- Failure to supervise at-risk residents in the temporary shelter, resulting in falls.
Three Florida Offices Focusing on Nursing Home Negligence:
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