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Medical Devices

Discussion in 'Emergency Preparedness' started by FarmerJamie, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Apr 28, 2018
    FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Mr. Sensitive

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    So an annoying little storm front blew through late afternoon/early evening with nothing more than high winds and a few microbursts. Just enough to topple some trees in the county and generate moderate power outages. I opened this thread because I really didn't see another thread discussing preps with regards to medical devices.

    I use a CPAP machine. Thankfully, since I have lost most of the extra weight, my apnea is not as bad as it used to be. Unfortunately, I have gotten around to getting a battery power source for it. Because the power was out and the utility outage map was indicating 12-18 hours until repairs would be complete, we spent the night in an area hotel. This would not be feasible in a more general emergency.

    My situation is easily remedied. Are there others of you that have families relying on a medical device for quality of life? Or are there some situations where in the event of a longer-lasting event, you should be resigned to your fate? I am not thinking specifically of daily/weekly/monthly medications. Disruption of those supplies would be hard to mitigate.

    Just curious?
     
  2. Apr 28, 2018
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    I have a chronic illness that the most common treatment plans include MASSIVE quantities of commercial electrolyte solutions (like literally a gallon of gatorade a day), and when that fails, the next thing is IV saline infusions, sometimes daily with a port. Problem is that people who go this treatment route, their bodies get dependent on the infusions and they end up hospitalized if they are interrupted. (Did I mention there's a IV saline shortage right now from last year's hurricane season?)

    Some people with this diagnosis avoid temperature fluctuations. While it's normal for us to have worse temperature regulation than average, the more one avoids temperature changes, the less tolerant one becomes. These people are really in danger if there is a power outage - even a short, planned outage!

    I am highly motivated to not start down the roads towards even less functioning. I'm working on alternative therapies and expanding the range of temperatures Thankfully, they have been working so far and I'm doing okay without the electolytes or medication. It's too early to predict if my strategies are strong enough to get me through summer. :fl

    @FarmerJamie, is weight loss alone enough to reverse sleep apnea?
     
  3. Apr 29, 2018
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    I'm not FJ - but weight loss will definitely help with obstructive sleep apnea. When one is overweight and sleeps on their back the insides of the throat relax with sleep. The tissues literally sag down into the airway - which causes the obstruction. If you have central apnea it's generally a brainstem issue. It doesn't send the signal to the muscles that control breathing... it's not as common as obstructive, but leave it to my DH to have both!

    DH uses a CPAP also...and it would be a PIA if he weren't able to power it. That's why we have an extra bedroom, lol. He would be delegated there, lol. But, a CPAP is more important than just stopping the snoring as I'm sure you know. DH has central apnea along with obstructive apnea. Without the CPAP his O2 levels plummet when he's sleeping. Having a blood sugar drop along with lower oxygen levels could have deadly consequences for him.

    His other major medical device is his insulin pump but thankfully it's not run on electricity. A shortage of batteries would be a challenge, but he could always go back to giving himself injections if we had a good supply of insulin and a way to keep it cool.

    And that brings us to that big "medical device" that lives in the kitchen. The one that keeps his insulin cold. In a true SHTF situation where there was no power for months... he would be resigned to his fate... :(

    Above are some of the reasons that we have a generator and usually keep a decent supply of gasoline - but it would only buy a little time in the event of a long term issue.
     
    Mini Horses likes this.
  4. Apr 29, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    I have a large (and VERY heavy) generator, with a device between power box & meter to plug into, allowing me to use anything in house if I watch to not "overload" with multi big draws at one time. So I can run hot water, deep well pump, oven, etc. with care and breaker switches. :cool: Gasoline can be an issue depending on the extent & length of outage. I would pefer a propane unit.

    When mom was here she did use oxygen, so I made sure I could keep the unit running. And my well is critical due to animals to water. Short term, depending on season, I'm good with several hundred gallons of stock tank storage....if I know in advance, most often they are pretty full. Long term it could be managed but not convenient to tote water from a nearby river.

    No other medicals to consider. But, I sure do like having my frig working and water running!
     
  5. Apr 29, 2018
    milkmansdaughter

    milkmansdaughter Super Self-Sufficient

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    I was just listening to the radio yesterday, and they were advertising a brand new battery backup unit for cpap machines, especially for situations like this. Several in my family need cpaps. My 18 yo has both Central and obstructive apnea, although he is not overweight at all.
     
  6. Apr 29, 2018
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    Having lived in hurricane country, I can tell you that a generator is just a patch on a busted dam. Getting gasoline is iffy, on a long term, it would be useless. I have no medical issues, nor does my husband. I sure do like my electrical appliances......
     

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