Blackout - Potentially scary

Last night we had a 2 hour blackout when the power failed all around town. Luckily I wasn’t dialysing at the time, or I could quite easily have lost a circuit of blood. London isn’t exactly a remote village used to blackouts:)

The solution, for the time being, was to head off to Machine Mart and get an emergency torchlight, that sits in a mains plug and charges. If the power goes, it lights up automatically, giving enough light to manually washback.

My machines battery only remembers settings during powerbreaks, not enough to run the machine.

Another solution is of course to have a small generator, which I know some folks who post here have.

Hi JW,

That does sound scary. But you should have been trained on how to do a manual rinseback, so you might lose some blood, but not a whole circuit if this happened again. (Cheaper than a generator). :wink:

Thought I’d replied, but post seems to have gone.
Dori, yes of course I can do manual washback. Have done several times, when needed.

But doing it in a room that has no light at all, pitch black, isn’t really easy. I’d love to say I can do it blindfolded, but I need to be see the lines and clamps and the pump to do so:)

:slight_smile: J

Along with a battery powered camping lantern, although the light source you checked out is even better, I use a UPS which is a step cheaper and easier than purchasing a generator. I went to a local store and purchased the most powerful one they had at a cost of about $200. They are available with more power, but the price jumps up a lot. It gives me about an hour of electrical back up on my machine which is plenty of time to rinseback with the machine in an emergency or sometimes to make it to the end of the tx if the electricity goes out towards the last hr of tx. You would need to check the wattage/voltage on your machine to make sure a UPS model corresponds. Pretty simple and it works. Have only needed to use it about 3 times in 4 years. This is an example of something that alarms patients when if the machine co. or clinic would of just prepared them for how to handle the situation, they would not of had to be concerned about it at all. Also, even if one was to lose the circuit of blood, as long as one does not have low Hgb in the first place, it is not a serious problem. But it is not necessary to lose the circuit if one is simply prepared with back up devices.

Good point about the dark, JW, which, this time of year, starts at about 5pm. Jane, what is a UPS?

I use a UPS too. UPS is short for Uninterrupted Power Supply. Basically, if there is a power outage, the UPS makes sure the dialysis machine runs uninterrupted.

Mine has a three hour backup and Fresenius 4008S has a 15 minute backup. Just last night, the power went off for around 2 hours. The UPS ensured my treatment was not interrupted.


All computers are (or should be) on an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Availability of these devices is widespread. You can find them at office supply stores and many discount stores. The more expensive ones have a longer battery life. I’d suggest asking the company that made your machine what to buy at a minimum.

Also, dialysis clinics should have flashlights on or near every machine and that would be important to do for home patients as well. I’ve had to crank back blood a couple of times working in dialysis. I was told it was dangerous to crank back blood without sufficient lighting. When hand cranking there is no air bubble detector and you could give yourself air, which could be deadly. To avoid doing this to the patient whose machine I was hand cranking, I shone the flashlight on the line at the air bubble detector site and watched for bubbles. Thank goodness, there were none.

What about buying one of those flashlights that go in the electrical socket and when the power fails, the light comes on? At least that would give you light enough to grab a flashlight (or camping lantern) to see what you’re doing.

BTW, here’s at least one thread from Home Dialysis Central related to dialysis and using a UPS:

Beth, thats exactly what I have done. Purchased one of these.

But the machine does have the option of a backup battery, tis just I doubt the Trust will pay for them to go in every machine, unless the patient lives in an area prone to blackouts.

There are a few other models around. Getting a UPS unit seems worth looking into tho. And prices start at around 60 quid (pounds) over here.

Just to let you know the techs are now taking this on board:) Particularly for the new patients:) I discussed it with the tech changing my filters today, and he said a UPS should be fine:) May look into getting one…

I have a LeLux Security ‘flood light’ if you will. I have installed it near the ceiling, one light pointing at the machine (blood lines), the other light at my arm. It took only one power failure to realize that holding a flashing, and hand cranking blood in the dark is IMPOSSIBLE, never mind safely pulling needles, etc. While is certainly doesn’t look great, it has come in handy, several times over 5 years.

Here is a photo:

We have been instructed by our program not to use a UPS, as interupted treatments is infrequent, though the fact that some of you are using it successfully, has me wondering. (I was told the dialysis machine was too powerful???)

Kidney_Mom in Canada

A battery-powered camping lantern works well. You can usually pick them up in the camping department of Walmart or your local sports department store. I agree about holding a flashlight and cranking at the same time. It would be nice if all insurers paid for backup batteries in the machines.