Health

Four Nursing Home Residents Die After Hurricane Evacuation, Causes Not Clear, Louisiana Department of Health Kept out of Facilities

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Four nursing home residents are dead after they were evacuated to a Tangipahoa Parish facility for Hurricane Ida, according to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), and LDH officials have not been allowed into the facility to make further assessments.

LDH did not release the name of the facility.

LDH officials said the four dead residents were evacuated on Aug. 27 ahead of Hurricane Ida’s landfall. Three of the four deaths have been classified as storm-related by the local coroner. None of the causes of death have been definitively confirmed.

“Upon hearing reports of deteriorating conditions at the facility after Hurricane Ida made landfall, LDH inspectors promptly visited the site but were expelled from the property and prevented from conducting a full assessment on Tuesday,” stated an LDH press release. “We have significant concerns about conditions in this facility … This is a serious and active investigation. We will be taking action against these nursing facilities, and will be making appropriate referrals to law enforcement.”

LDH said it has been working to find safe placements for all 843 patients starting with the most vulnerable. These nursing home residents were evacuated from the following seven facilities:

  • River Palms Nursing and Rehab, Orleans Parish
  • South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab, Lafourche Parish
  • Maison Orleans Healthcare Center, Orleans Parish
  • Park Place Healthcare Nursing Home, Jefferson Parish
  • West Jefferson Health Care Center, Jefferson Parish
  • Maison DeVille Nursing Home, Terrebonne Parish
  • Maison DeVille Nursing Home of Harvey, Jefferson Parish

“Unless under a mandatory evacuation order, nursing homes make the decision of when and where to evacuate. They must always provide safe conditions for their residents,” stated the release. “Our top priority has been getting our vulnerable residents to immediate safety. In under 24 hours, as of 9:46 a.m., 721 residents have been rescued from the facility, and LDH continues to work with other state agencies and local officials to quickly place the others. Upon rescue, 12 individuals were found to be in conditions that required hospitalization.”

Written by Scott Lewis

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