Hospital recommends having emergency plan in case of power loss

When Tuesday night's storm knocked out power in some Grand Island homes people relying on electricity for their oxygen started having trouble breathing.

CHI Health Saint Francis recommends keeping oxygen tanks handy in case you lose power. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

Many were rushed to the ER at CHI Health Saint Francis. The hospital says patients should always have back up tank in case that happens again.

"Always have an emergency plan," Chris Goplin, the Respiratory Care Supervisor at Chi Health St Francis, said. "That emergency plan should consist of small oxygen tanks that you should already have in your home. If you have a concentrator, you should have tanks in your home as well."

Oxygen tanks should be coming from the home care company that sets you up with your electrical unit. Keeping them on site can help your life.

If you're unsure if your oxygen has stopped working, there are ways to tell.

"It's important to know if you're questioning whether or not after placing the nasal cannula on you and don't feel anything, what you can do is a trick," Goplin said. "Actually take your nasal cannula and dunk it in water and if it bubbles, you should have flow."

It's not just oxygen you should have on hand in case of an emergency.

"Your emergency plan should not just consist of oxygen in your home to get you by until power comes back up, but also having enough medicine in your house and everything you need to maintain your health,' Goplin said.

They do say if you don't have a backup plan and your power does go out, you should visit the e-r immediately for assistance. The hospital has generators that keep the electric on and oxygen flowing even in blackouts.