Florida nursing home where 8 died in sweltering heat had repeat safety violations

The nursing home in Hollywood, Fla., where overheating may have caused eight patients to die after spending days without air conditioning in the wake of Hurricane Irma has a history of patient safety violations, according to STAT

The nursing home, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, had electricity following the hurricane but experienced "prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning," Jorge Carballo, the nursing home administrator, said in a statement to NBC 6.

Police opened a criminal investigation Wednesday into the deaths, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he would "aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place." On Thursday, the governor ordered the nursing home removed from the state Medicaid program, according to Reuters.

According to STAT, federal regulators have cited the nursing home twice for violations related to its generators. CMS records show Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills was only equipped with a temporary generator in early 2016 and officials lacked a plan to replace it with a permanent generator.

In late 2014, federal inspectors noted a remote generator alarm at the nursing home was not functional. "If not maintained, the emergency generator may fail without staff being aware," according to the inspectors' report.

Each time the nursing home was cited for issues related to its backup power capabilities, administrators said they would correct the problems, according to STAT.

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