Patient Safety – Natural Disasters
Last fall, the US was hit with two major hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Maria in Puerto Rico and more recently Michael in Florida and Florence in North and South Carolina. Here in the northeast, we can relate to major snowstorms that might cut off supplies and power outages that affect air conditioning. These natural disasters pose a threat to nursing home residents and a life and death obstacle for nursing home administrators. Moving residents is usually the last option. Some residents are so sick, frail or prone to confusion that the move out of the residence is more dangerous than the natural disaster. Nursing home administrators are faced with the dilemma of how long to wait until evacuation, is the threat great enough for evacuation, which residents cannot be moved and who should stay with them. Chapter 12 discusses fire safety and emergency evacuation and the attached articles discuss the real life consequences of emergency situations. Some possible questions to start your discussion post are: -Are these administrators guilty of a criminal act?
-Since the conditions were the result of a natural disaster, are the administrators liable for what was out of their control?
-Should the local or federal government be more involved in these cases?
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