Oxygen Therapy Safety – What to do if You Lose Electricity

In the case of a black out or other form of power loss, you will still need to use your oxygen concentrator. The best way to take care of a situation like this, is to have a plan and backup measures that will cover you until your electricity is restored. You don't want to be left helpless until emergency medical personnel can arrive, especially if you live in a rural area, or a highly populated city, where many other people will need medical assistance at the same time.

Charge a Cell Phone

You should already have a cell phone, even if you only use it for emergencies. You will need to contact your electric company to let them know that your power is out, and many modern house phones won't work without electricity. Check your cell phone frequently to make sure the battery has a full or nearly full charge at all times. Power outages can happen at any time, so don't wait until the weather gets bad before making sure your cell phone has a good charge. You don't want to lose your connection with the world if the power goes out.

Get a Backup Generator

A backup power generator is especially important if you use a home oxygen concentrator, which needs power from an outlet to run. If you have a portable oxygen concentrator, you can either run it from an already fully-charged backup battery, or plug it into electricity running from your backup generator. A generator is a great investment, which will not only save the food in your fridge from spoiling, but it will allow you to continue you home oxygen therapy until the power is restored, without needing to leave your home.

If you tell your electric company ahead of time that you use oxygen therapy at home, they may even send you a backup generator for free. They will also keep you a higher priority when electricity has gone out in your area, or when you call them to let them know you've lost power.

Have an Escape Plan

Not everyone can afford a backup generator. In this case, you should use your emergency cell phone to call your local fire department or police department to let them know that you are oxygen dependent. They will likely let you come to their station to use their backup generator, and they may even be able to pick you up and bring you to the station if you don't have your own vehicle. If your home oxygen concentrator is too heavy to transport, they will likely have their own source of oxygen at their station. If this fails, you can contact emergency medical personnel. You may also have a neighbor with a backup generator, who can help you if the power goes out in your town. It's also a good idea to plan ahead with people you know, in the event that only your house loses power for whatever reason.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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