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Health News Florida

Since 2006, Health News Florida has provided in-depth journalism on health policy issues in our state.

Health News Florida is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at http://health.wusf.usf.edu

Nine elderly patients died after being kept inside a nursing home that turned into a sweatbox when Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning for three days, even though just across the street was a fully functioning and cooled hospital.

On the heels of nine nursing home deaths due to Hurricane Irma, Florida’s U.S. Senators have filed a bipartisan bill to create a national panel that looks into ways to help seniors during a disaster.

A mild stroke sent St. Petersburg resident Lori Ngo to the hospital in May.

She was feeling a pain in her leg, but didn't think much of it.

A Florida organization that helps people sign up for insurance through the federal marketplace will have its funding cut by nearly $1 million.

Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover, wants state lawmakers to approve a measure that says pornography is creating a public health crisis.

With the deaths of nine residents of a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., want to create a national panel that would look at meeting the needs of seniors during disasters.

The Broward County Medical Examiner’s office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

Dr. Craig Mallak confirmed the death of Carlos Canal, 93, which occurred Tuesday morning. An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday.

Hollywood police sent out a news release Tuesday night saying Canal is considered the ninth death related to the nursing home meltdown

Top Senate Republicans say their last-ditch push to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law is gaining momentum. But they have less than two weeks to succeed and face a tough fight to win enough GOP support to reverse the summer's self-inflicted defeat on the party's high-priority issue.

Perfect Storm: Hurricane Irma Challenged Grocery Pipeline

Sep 19, 2017

Grocery stores up and down the state are still trying to restock shelves a full week after Hurricane Irma.

Calling the Hurricane Irma-related deaths of eight people in South Florida a preventable tragedy, a Plantation Democrat wants to force nursing homes to have a five-day emergency power supply. 

Arnetta Gordon is a Miami-Dade public school teacher.  After leaving Miami to escape Hurricane Irma with her husband and four children, she returned to her Liberty City home which like thousands of others had no electricity.  Gordon has a 9-month old infant who she breastfeeds.

She wrote WLRN about the challenges of breastfeeding with no power:

With restoration continuing this week after Hurricane Irma, Florida Department of Health officials are warning residents about standing water left by the storm as a thriving environment for mosquitoes.

Containers like garden pots, birdbaths, tires and cans, when filled with standing water, can host mosquitoes laying up to 200 eggs.

The first 911 call from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills didn't sound ominous: A nursing home patient had an abnormal heartbeat.

Florida’s nursing home industry will hold a summit Friday in Tallahassee to discuss Gov. Rick Scott’s emergency rule requiring increased generator capacity to help nursing homes in a disaster, according to the Miami Herald.

The nursing home where residents died following a hurricane-induced air conditioning outage was not on the priority list for power restoration, according to the facility's utility provider and Broward County officials.

Emergency responders confirmed eight deaths last Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's air conditioning system.

When the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills submitted its 43-page emergency management plan to county administrators in July, it included details on how the home would maintain clean linen, distribute canned food and ensure residents had access to hand sanitizers.

It made no mention of how residents would be kept cool if the home’s power was lost.

That was a tragic oversight: On Wednesday, health regulators said, eight residents of the rehabilitation center succumbed to cardiac and respiratory failure after a portable air cooling system malfunctioned.

Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators has reportedly killed five Floridians in the wake of Irma. Here are some ways to prevent exposure to the potentially deadly gas.

Dozens Of Nursing Homes Still Lack Power

Sep 15, 2017

Dozens of nursing homes continued Thursday to lack electricity or had been evacuated because of Hurricane Irma, as the state grappled with the deaths of eight residents of a Broward County facility that did not have air conditioning.

It’s the middle of the day in Deland, a city between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Temperatures today are in the 90s.

For the millions of people who are still without power across Florida, heat illness can be a concern.  

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