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  • Handling Power Outages While Using Supplemental 02

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on July 22, 2022 at 10:45 am

    As you can imagine, losing power for an extended period of time is very anxiety provoking when you require supplemental oxygen to breathe. Many of us living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have access to both 02 tanks and portable oxygen concentrators (POCs). The former doesn’t require power to operate, although they don’t last long periods of time, whereas the latter does beyond its battery life. No matter where I go, I typically try to have both sources of supplemental oxygen with me in the event of a power outage.

    The topic of power outages and using supplemental 02 have been previously discussed on this forum, but it is alway good to have a refresher and to post this important topic again for those who are new to our site. There are a few things I’ve been working on to proactively prepare for power outages and I wrote about them in a column called:Preparing for Power Outages as a Patient with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

    One thing that has been really helpful to me is being aware of the Emergency Preparedness program that might exist in your community for those with a chronic condition. Information about this is found in my column link above.

    What do you do to proactively prepare for a power outage as an IPF patient?


    Millie replied 1 year, 7 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Millie

    July 27, 2022 at 10:55 am

    I’ve never had one yet but I do have 2 tanks that provide 10-12 hours of oxygen each. Then I have 3 other smaller portable tanks that each last 3-5 hours. Then I have 2 inogen battery operated portable units, each with 2 batteries. That should give me another 20-25 hours. I think I’m in good shape for a power outage. I’ve also notified my electric provider of my oxygen use.

    • Charlene Marshall

      July 30, 2022 at 8:50 am


      Hi Mille,

      Thanks for sharing – sounds like you’re well-equipped to handle power outages while using oxygen, which is great. I’m you’ve notified your service providers too, that is a step a lot of people forget. One other thing that eases my mind, which people maybe don’t think of, is accessing the car as a power source for our 02 during an outage. My concentrator plugs into my car, so if I ever needed to, I could go for a drive and recharge the device. Something to keep in mind!
      Take care,
      Char .

  • jim-nox

    July 28, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    In addition to the suggestions of Millie, I have found that most modern automobiles/pickups have electrical outlets that support Inogen type concentrators via accessory plug-ins to cigar lighter recepticles. Also, you can install electrical inverters that convert DC to AC household current and use them to power up larger home comcentrators provided you pay attention to the various input/output loads. Either of the above will enable you to use your vehicle in an emergency to provide enough O2 to be functional, whether sitting inside the vehicle (at idle or traveling) or running the AC lines into the house with the vehicle idleing outside. CAUTION: regarding carbon monoxide awareness and control and safety precautions.

    I have personally experienced long-term power outages (up to 10 hours) at my ranch in Central Texas, at least two times; both at night and both unannounced. That is no time to start figuring out what to do. So be sure you have the plan, the equipment, and self training to respond quickly and with minimum physical effort. My own plan starts with a fully charged battery operated Inogen G5 at bedside, so I can get O2 started with minimun muscle activity and enough O2 to maintain good cognition to plan on dealing with the situation at hand.

    Good luck to all.

    Jim Knox, (near Bryan/College Station, Texas)

  • Millie

    July 30, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    Yes, I also can recharge my inogen portable batteries in the car. In fact, I do it all the time now.

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