Clinics & services

Ventilators and power outages

What to do if the power goes out and you need to use your ventilator.

The Victorian Respiratory Support Service (VRSS) supplies vulnerable and/or ventilator dependent patients  with ventilators that have:

  • internal batteries
  • in most cases, additional external batteries.

Preparing for power outages

To make sure that your internal and external batteries work in an emergency situation, you need to maintain them.

Maintain the battery inside your ventilator (internal battery)

You cannot replace or access the internal battery yourself.

VRSS recommends that you use your ventilator on mains power whenever possible so that the internal battery remains fully charged at all times. This will ensure you are prepared for an unplanned power outage.

Examples of times you may need to use your ventilator via the internal battery:

  • if the mains power goes out
  • when you leave home for an appointment and need to use the ventilator
  • if you use the ventilator in another part of your house away from your bedside.

If you have a second (backup) ventilator always keep it accessible and plugged into a power point to keep the internal battery charged up.

Maintain your external battery

If you have an external battery, you can connect it to the ventilator with a special adaptor lead. This can supply additional hours of ventilator use if mains power is not available for a long time.

Make sure your external batteries are accessible and maintained by keeping them plugged into a power point when not in use.

Managing during unplanned power outages

Unplanned power outages usually occur during extreme weather. Depending on how much you require the ventilator to support your breathing, you may choose to stay at home to ride out the power outage.

If you are concerned that you do not have enough battery power from either your ventilator(s) and/or external battery kit, please move to another location, such as:

  • a hospital or supported accommodation that has uninterrupted power
  • another home that has working electricity.

Contact us

For more advice on ventilators and power outages, please contact the VRSS Outreach service.

VRSS Outreach service

Phone: (03) 9496 3665