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Tonya E. Recipient

Thunder and lighting storms...

Hey good evening have a question....whats the protocol for being on wall power when its thundering and lightning? I know we cant be plugged into a surge protector , we are suppose to be plugged directly into the wall ? Right? I can't  seem to find the answer. If anyone has the answer or suggestions  i would greatly appreciate. Every time its storming outside when its bed time,my nerves gets razzled,frazzled and fried thanks for all the help and answers.

 

 

Tonya

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Billy L.

Truthfully Tonya I never use my wall power supply but can tell you that you have nothing to worry about. The box between your wall plug and your connection plug is a surge protector in that it will trip off before allowing an overflow of power through. 

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Steven H.

Not sure if there is a protocol. 
When storms like that I always  switched to battery’s. 
I just wasn’t going to risk it

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Angie K.

Hi Tonya, my husband is on his 3rd year as an LVAD patient.  I personally get nervous, too, but our LVAD system has a 30 minute internal battery back up.  The electricity went out during the night, and the internal battery worked.  We just switched him over to batteries until the electricity came back on.  Be sure and do the tests each day.  

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Cherrell T.

When we talked with our LVAD team we asked if we could use surge protectors! They thought that was a great idea. Our power goes out often here. 

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Amy K.

It’s scary to say the least. We had an all house surg protector installed before he came home. He goes to bed as usual but have flash lights and batteries by the bedside Incase of power outage. 

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Stan C.

Don't know there is actually a protocol but have heard recommendations about staying on batteries at night during storms but I personally do not.  Should power go out for any length of time the wall unit will go off and no one can sleep through it.  I do sit up and give it a few minutes to make sure power does come back on.  However, I do recommend you get a battery powered camp lantern to keep by your bed just in case so you can see if you should need to go on batteries.

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Lisa J.

I use batteries.   Not fun waking up to the sound from the unit that power if off.   

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Jerome M.

I have used both methods. The electric and my batteries if the storm is real bad. I do have a whole house generator on natural gas now. This would eliminate outages. Lightning strikes affecting the home are rare. Your confidence and comfort is most important and you should do what you feel comfortable and confident with doing.

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Tonya E.

I would llike to thank everyone for thier input.  I really appreciate it. I know my daughter will definately appreciate  the input. Her and i both get real nervous during storms. So once again thank you.

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Cindy R.

Hi Tonya,

Sorry I'm a little late, but I agree with Steve H.  When storms are in the area, it is not worth taking a chance, and I always switch to batteries.  We have no automatic generator, and it gets super dark with no power where we live.  It is so much harder, and stressful to switch to batteries in the dark with alarms blaring.

Best of luck!

 Cindy 

 

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Pam J.

I am so surprised to see how many people use the wall outlet since my husband has never ever used wall power in the 3 years he’s had his LVAD.  Is this something that you all were instructed to do, or a personal decision?

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In reply to by Pam J.

Linda M.

We were told to never sleep at night with the battery 

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In reply to by Linda M.

Jerome M.

Some times it is unavoidable. I feel it is needed on certain occasion. Hurricane Season  is one of those times when you may need to be mobile.

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Pam J.

I am so surprised to see how many people use the wall outlet since my husband has never ever used wall power in the 3 years he’s had his LVAD.  Is this something that you all were instructed to do, or a personal decision?

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In reply to by Pam J.

Cindy R.

Hello Pam J,

I have had my LVAD for 10 years, and the wall outlet was used to read the numbers of the older LVADs, and was the safe way to nap and sleep.  I accepted it as a safe and more comfortable way to sleep.  I did recently have some issues with the wall outlet cables, so I am curious as to why your husband does not consider it.  Please reply.

Sincerely,

Cindy J.

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In reply to by Cindy R.

Pam J.

Hello snd I’m sorry for the delayed response. My husband feels the wall outlet and cable are more cumbersome and dangerous (especially when getting up during the night) than just staying on batteries. The possibility of tripping over the long cable outweighs the potential of losing power during an outage. He always has five other batteries ready in the charger should we lose power. His LVAD team has never insisted on one method or another and has left the decision of which option works best for him up to him. We were also advised not to bother with getting our own generator as the controllers and batteries are so reliable that the odds of needing a generator are minute. Should we ever need assistance to power up, we have a fire/rescue department not far away. My husband’s team at UVA is top notch and extremely well respected so we trust their expertise.  Best wishes!   
- Pam

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In reply to by Pam J.

Cindy R.

Hello Pam,

Thank you for your response, and I thank Larry N for his clarification.  I am very clumsy and have tripped over the cord, but not very often.  I am glad you are happy with your VAD team in the beautiful state of Virginia.  I have a very awesome team at Inova Fairfax, and a great team makes a HUGE difference.  Best of luck to you and your family. :)

Cindy J.

 

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In reply to by Pam J.

Tonya E.

HI Pam, 

Thanks for the information,  i understand what he is saying anout getting tangle up with the cord in the middle of the night, some how i have seem to make that part work and i too have all 8 of my  battiers in rotation with clips on already to go. 

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Deborah C.

We live in Florida so thunderstorms and hurricanes are issues. several years ago our power was out for 2 days due to a hurricane. Our address was registered with the power company and they notified us before each storm. We were listed as one of the first to need power restored before others. I had a neighbor charge the batteries when the power did not come on soon enough as we could not get our generator to run. Check your neighbors with generators for an emergency. Our doctors were excellent in making sure the power company and the fire comppany knew thee was an L-Vad patient here.

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Larry N.

The "official" name for the AC/wall unit is the Mobile Power Unit. The HM 3 Patient Handbook page 78 states the MPU "Powers the system when you are sleeping or relaxing indoors." Page 79 has a Warning to "Always connect to the MPU when sleeping, or when there is a chance of sleep. The system alarms may not be heard when asleep, resulting in injury or death." From personal experience, I can attest that the low battery alarm from the controller is not particularly loud, and is easily mistaken for the numerous beeps and alerts from other electronic devices. NO ONE will miss the alarm from the MPU if you're connected to it when power goes off! Plus, I like having all eight batteries fully charged a few hours after I switch to the MPU at night. I keep one set  of batteries with clips installed and ready to go on the night stand next to the bed, along with a flashlight.There's no need to panic if power goes off while you're sleeping - other than being roused from a sound sleep by an incredibly loud noise. You are not going to sleep through it, and you will have plenty of time to connect the batteries - carefully, so you don't inadvertently bend a pin. I also notified the power company, and I get a text from them whenever they anticipate power may go off, and the local fire station to be sure that I can go there for a recharge if power is off long enough to use up all my charged batteries. 

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In reply to by Larry N.

Tonya E.

Hi Larry, my main concern  was being electrocuted,  like if the house was hit by lightning,  is it going to travel thru the power cord and shock me, or explode? I read all the information  in the book it or i didnt see what part of information. 

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In reply to by Tonya E.

Larry N.

Hi Tonya, because several posts mention staying on batteries all night, I figured it was appropriate to refer to the people who designed the LVAD and wrote the book, as well as the direction I got from my LVAD Team. But you’re right, the book doesn’t mention anything specific regarding your original question. We’re probably getting into an area of low probabilities, as in what is the likelihood of a lightning strike following the power line through the MPU versus the batteries going dead and not hearing the low voltage alarm. Evidently the designers consider sleeping on batteries a high enough risk to warn against it in the Patient Manual. On the other hand, we’ve probably all heard of lightning destroying appliances through the power line. And it doesn’t have to be a direct hit. Bottom line is nothing is 100% safe. So it likely comes down to which option causes less stress. For me that’s following the direction to sleep connected to the MPU. But if I lived in an area with frequent severe storms or that was the forecast, I just might make sure I’m on a fresh set of batteries instead. And then a tornado hits my house - ah well, nothing’s 100%! Each of us needs to make the best decision we can to exercise good stewardship of the bonus time we’ve been granted through these LVADs. May you sleep peacefully, whichever option you choose.

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In reply to by Tonya E.

Larry N.

Hi Tonya, because several posts mention staying on batteries all night, I figured it was appropriate to refer to the people who designed the LVAD and wrote the book, as well as the direction I got from my LVAD Team. But you’re right, the book doesn’t mention anything specific regarding your original question. We’re probably getting into an area of low probabilities, as in what is the likelihood of a lightning strike following the power line through the MPU versus the batteries going dead and not hearing the low voltage alarm. Evidently the designers consider sleeping on batteries a high enough risk to warn against it in the Patient Manual. On the other hand, we’ve probably all heard of lightning destroying appliances through the power line. And it doesn’t have to be a direct hit. Bottom line is nothing is 100% safe. So it likely comes down to which option causes less stress. For me that’s following the direction to sleep connected to the MPU. But if I lived in an area with frequent severe storms or that was the forecast, I just might make sure I’m on a fresh set of batteries instead. And then a tornado hits my house - ah well, nothing’s 100%! Each of us needs to make the best decision we can to exercise good stewardship of the bonus time we’ve been granted through these LVADs. May you sleep peacefully, whichever option you choose.

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In reply to by Tonya E.

Larry N.

Hi Tonya, because several posts mention staying on batteries all night, I figured it was appropriate to refer to the people who designed the LVAD and wrote the book, as well as the direction I got from my LVAD Team. But you’re right, the book doesn’t mention anything specific regarding your original question. We’re probably getting into an area of low probabilities, as in what is the likelihood of a lightning strike following the power line through the MPU versus the batteries going dead and not hearing the low voltage alarm. Evidently the designers consider sleeping on batteries a high enough risk to warn against it in the Patient Manual. On the other hand, we’ve probably all heard of lightning destroying appliances through the power line. And it doesn’t have to be a direct hit. Bottom line is nothing is 100% safe. So it likely comes down to which option causes less stress. For me that’s following the direction to sleep connected to the MPU. But if I lived in an area with frequent severe storms or that was the forecast, I just might make sure I’m on a fresh set of batteries instead. And then a tornado hits my house - ah well, nothing’s 100%! Each of us needs to make the best decision we can to exercise good stewardship of the bonus time we’ve been granted through these LVADs. May you sleep peacefully, whichever option you choose.

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Deborah C.

Living in FL we have thunderstorms almost daily not to mention hurricanes. My husband is always plugged directly into the wall when he's in bed regardless of the weather outside. We do have a whole house surge protector from the electric company. They install it directly behind your meter and you can check the light on it to make sure it's working.