The Impact of Power Outages on Hospitals and Healthcare

When a hospital undergoes a power outage, the impacts can range from minor to fatal, depending on the patients in the hospital, the treatments they need, and the race against the clock to regain power. Below are the most common impacts that hospitals and other healthcare facilities face during a power outage.

Impact on Scheduled Surgeries and Emergencies

When a healthcare facility like a hospital experiences a power outage, they are limited to backup resources, meaning anything elective is automatically considered non-essential and not happening during this time. There isn't enough power to manage the equipment needed for these rooms and to run the large overhead lights that are needed during surgery and other procedures. This means that anything scheduled during the power outage will need to be rescheduled once power and normal operations resume.

Defected Medical Supplies

Some supplies will be lost once the power is out, especially if the outage lasts more than a few hours. Many supplies and equipment are required to be refrigerated to be used. With the power outage, these storage rooms aren't powered, and these products may reach room temperature during this time. Should this happen, they will be considered defective and unable to be used. This could impact the hospital's supply of medications and supplies, even after power has been restored, until they can get restocked.

Patient Risk and Safety

The machines that patients are using in the hospital require power to run. This means that fluids and medications administered through an IV will not work, nor will the vital sign monitors used to track a patient's stability. This could be dangerous for patients in critical care, restricting the staff's attention and risking patient safety.

Managing Backup Power and Maintenance

To prevent power outages that could impact patients, it’s crucial for building architects and engineers building healthcare facilities and hospitals to establish a backup power system that turns on if the main power grid goes out. There should be enough power to manage the refrigerated medical supplies and medications and support essential monitors and IVs that patients depend on for their health.

Another way to prevent outages at mission critical facilities is to manage the wildlife in the area with preventative wildlife control solutions. These solutions keep wildlife away from power lines, utility poles, and transformers, reducing damage to the equipment and power outages. If you would like more information on our wildlife control solutions, contact our team at Critter Guard today to see how we can help keep power on at mission critical facilities.