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Nursing Home Evacuated After Days Without AC
July 7, 2010

A Baltimore nursing home went without air conditioning for three days before anything was done about it. It wasnít until a resident of Ravenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center called 911 Tuesday that the problem was addressed. Temperatures in the Baltimore area hit 105 degrees yesterday.

It is believed the facility's air conditioning went out sometime Saturday, though some Baltimore media outlets are reporting that the system went down as early as Friday. At any rate, authorities said the temperature inside the 190-bed nursing home was 91 degrees by Tuesday morning.

All 150 residents currently at Ravenswood are being moved to other facilities today, the Associated Press is reporting.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is investigating to see if Ravenwood personnel followed proper procedures. Nursing home facilities are required to report malfunctions of such a nature.

"The equipment failure could easily have put clients at risk," said David Paulson, communications director for the department. He described conditions inside the facility as "unsuitable" and "irresponsible."

Baltimore City Emergency Management spokesman Scott Brillman told WBALTV that the office got in touch with Ravenwood's corporate office in Louisiana, and arranged to bring 12 portable air conditioners. Two were deployed on each floor, and about 40 of Ravenswood's most vulnerable patients have been moved to lower floors. Mechanics have been called in to fix the air conditioning in the meantime.

Unfortunately, the air conditioners and window fans deployed so far haven't been enough to cool the building adequately, so Ravenswood is being evacuated at this time.

Ravenswood houses a number of vulnerable patients, WBALTV said. Some are under 65, but with serious medical conditions. A number are gunshot victims.

Miraculously, no residents have suffered health complications related to the heat, the Associated Press said.



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