Information for people who are dependent on ventilator support

Muscular Dystrophy WA is very grateful to Dr David Hillman, at the Pulmonary Physiology at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Director of the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute, for the following advice provided to us and to Rocky Bay Inc.

Please be aware that overnight power failure can occur. Ventilator malfunction and accidental disconnection of the ventilator hose from the mask or machine can also happen.

Please ensure that you have a method of detecting these problems and responding to them quickly.  The following can help:

  • household power failure alarm
  • ventilator alarm either inbuilt or as a separate device plugged into the breathing system (discuss with your ventilator supplier)
  • communication method with carer
  • call bell with easily activated switch
  • voice communication (e.g. intercom)

Where power failure does occur use the wheelchair or battery back-up systems available to you.  In the case of ventilator failure use your second ventilator.

  • Consider purchasing an uninterrupted power supply.
  • Ensure that you check that the alarms are working from time to time.
  • Also ensure that your back-up battery is charged and ready for use in case it is needed.
  • Newer ventilator technologies that combine some of these features will be investigated.

Please contact Muscular Dystrophy WA on 9380 3400 – or support@mdwa.org.au should you require any advice and/or support.