Generators and Medical Devices – Review

MedicalGenerators are safe for medical devices or not?Help

Before putting your medical devices on the generator in a power outage due to Hurricane Disasters, you must read these facts and figures:

If someone relies on medical devices for an emergency purpose like a ventilator, apnea monitor, and a disaster, your power is out, you must face a problem for your loved ones.

So for that reason, you need an electricity backup to keep them safe and sound and keep them alive.

There are many sources of electricity backup I-e solar energy systems and power Generators. These generators can help you in medical emergencies and be used in medical devices.

Generators VS Solar in Medical Devices:

Capable of producing a large amount of electricityRoof-mounted panels are susceptible to damage
Instant and reliable powerRestricted to running low-current appliances
Most practical application for running high-Wattage appliancesPortable panels require safe storage
Better cost to efficiency than SolarNon-User Friendly
Non-Weather dependentLow DC voltage output
User FriendlyWeather Dependent

Choosing the Right Generator

To use the generator for medical devices, you must choose it concerning quality and the watts you need. In fatal, deadly, dangerous, and critical situations, you need power availability and runtime.

Wattage you need

The minimum wattage your generator needs can be calculated by the wattage your electrical devices need.

If you use the generator for the oxygen ventilator, the wattage can be between 350 to more than 700 watts depending on the flow of oxygen you are using. Before turning down the flow, you must contact your medical doctor to confirm whether it is safe to slow down the oxygen flow in an emergency to save fuel.

A 2,000-watt generator is generally sufficient for powering most home ventilators, but it is imperative to consider if the ventilator is accompanied by suction or the heating unit or any other accessories devices to flow your power need.

If you have Insulins and injections for the patient, you just need a refrigerator to keep them cold. So, you have to add extra watts to your generator capacity. 

Tip: Refrigerators can save cooling for 1 hour if you run it for 15 to 20 minutes so you can keep the fuel also.

If you need your generator to run simultaneously, then you need extra generator power for that.

Warning: keep in mind that lights and chargers, and other electrical appliances can affect your generator capacity demand. The difference can also be caused in everyday and emergency situations if you need an air conditioning unit or the heater on all the time.

Standby Generators

Sometimes your family member is on a medical device 24/7. Just think about when your house is out of electricity, and no one is at home to start the generator. It can be deadly, so in that case, you need a standby generator.

Standby generators are connected to your home grid and can be programmed (uses relay/ auto switch) to turn on automatically when your home is out of power/ you can stay relaxed when out. You also need automatic change over to change your home appliances to the generator, and when electricity is restored, it can adjust to your power provider.

  • Seamless switching between systems means it is worry-free
  • The continual flow of power is of particular importance for people who depend on powered, home medical equipment
  • Dependable electrical power
  • The transfer switch acts as a surge protector and prevents back-feeding electricity
  • During the outage, you can continue to use any of your electric appliances
  • They are noisy so check the noise ordinances
  • Standby generators can be costly, especially for ones large enough to run an entire house
  • They depend on a fuel supply
  • Installation requires advanced plumbing and electrical skills
  • They need regular maintenance. Your generator is an engine


How long your generator can run simultaneously and continuously if anyone is dependent on medical devices round the clock (24/7).

Most of the generators can run continuously for 6 to 12 hours but need to be turned off for 20 to 30 minutes to calm down. And to add more fuel to generators. Any person using oxygen around the clock will be a problem or challenge to refuel the generator.

Anyone using a nighttime medical device or a dialysis machine must ensure that the generator has a long enough runtime to do the medical treatment.

Tip: Natural gas generators can provide longer runtime because not to be refueled.

Propane generators take some actions before using them for medical devices. So, you will need to add either one tank or two tanks to use it continuously. Generators can succumb to overheating if they are running too close to their rated watts.

A standby generator is the safest for anyone to use for the continuous purpose of an oxygen ventilator if they are connected to the natural gas line in the home. They can run efficiently for days during electricity outages from natural disasters.

You can run it efficiently and continuously if you add less load than its capacity. Generators having more power than your needs are best to use.

Prepare Generator for emergency 

Be prepared to ensure your generator is ready for emergency purposes. It has the same importance as having a generator for emergencies.

It is challenging to find the components needed to start and run the generator and get help if the generator isn’t working correctly.


The outage of the fuel is the vital thing you will also need to use the generator. You should have more power on hand and in the generator to last for several days. If you are using an oxygen ventilator in your home and out of fuel, it will be life-threatening. Meanwhile, in disastrous power outage conditions, it is nearly tough to find energy.

Remember that gasoline can stale over time. It means that you cannot keep gasoline around your home for a long time. It needs to be replaced before the expiring date to reduce the hazards and to remain prepared for medical emergencies in unexpected power outages. Propane can also go stale after several years. It can also cause problems.

Extras For Generators:

Another thing after fuel is having everything available in your home to run the generator. It includes Filters and engine oil, spare parts like spark plugs, Tools to open up slots for the filter, engine oil, spark plugs, etc.

If your generator has an electrical source for starting, i.e., Battery, make sure it is charged all the time. Keep a siphon kit around if you need to siphon gasoline from your vehicle in case of a prolonged outage of power.

Other items you will need to keep the generator ready for emergencies include extension cable and cords and strips; make sure your extension cords reach the destination where you need the power for a medical emergency.

Run Your Generator:

The generator is the backup reliable power source in an emergency. Make sure it will start. And the best way to check the generator is to simply create and run it once every few days.

Starting and running the generator in a few days will help you ensure that fuel in your engine isn’t sitting and building up clogs, having fresh gasoline and that all the components are working in sound condition.


Always keep life-saving medical devices like oxygen ventilators powered on during the outage caused by a disaster. Generators need preparation and surveillance to make sure the generator is in ready condition to run. Generators can play a significant role in giving emergency power.

Another important thing you need to know is generators are reliable if they are well maintained.

Tip: It is imperative to have additional backup plans ready if the outage is more extended than your expectations.

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