Over 2.5 Million Home Health Patients Use Medical Equipment Vulnerable to Natural Disasters
Posted on Friday, July 19, 2019 8:37 PM
Hurricane Barry made landfall this week and it serves as a reminder that it’s time for hurricanes and other severe weather. Home-bound patients who rely on electronic medical equipment often do not have the backup power in case of a power outage.
“Hospitals have to have fairly high levels of resilient power,” Lewis Milford — head of Clean Energy Group, a nonprofit organization focused on addressing issues related to clean energy and climate change — told Home Health Care News. “That’s required by law. The sad irony is that we want to move people out of hospitals, but we have no similar protections for them while they’re at home. We’re basically saying … you should get your medical care at home, but we’re not going to make sure that the equipment that’s provided will actually run.”
Case in point, when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in the three months following 4,645 people died. The loss of power is detrimental to home health care.
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