Update, and guess what the folk commenting are saying?
More about this from the Herald
In 2007, Mangere woman Folole Muliaga died the same day a contractor to Mercury Energy cut the power to her home. A coroner later found the 45-year-old, who was using an oxygen machine, died as a result of morbid obesity, but also that the loss of power played a part in her death.
Less than a month later, Mercury Energy introduced changes to prevent a repeat of the tragedy, including requiring customers facing power disconnection to receive a personal phone call to check whether there are medical or hardship reasons not to cut off the electricity.
The Electricity Commission, now called the Electricity Authority, also introduced voluntary guidelines - involving electricity retailers, hospitals and GPs - to identify and help protect vulnerable people from electricity disconnection.
Nine whole years and still nothing in place to protect vulnerable people from this...
Follow up to this...
A 21-year-old Rotorua man will appear in Taupo District Court on Wednesday charged with being a criminal nuisance in relation to the outage that stopped Fai Deane's ventilator working.
Had this lady's ventilator had a battery back-up....
One worrisome aspect of this particular case is the implication in the article that had the power company known of the medical dependency, they would have done something. In my experience the power company considers it has no responsibility in this regard because it cannot and does not promise to supply uninterrupted electricity.
Battery back-up is another matter. Especially since this lady had only recently been discharged from hospital with the ventilator, she was clearly dependent on the machine for her life. The DHB should shoulder some responsibility here as it did not provide any back-up, if it had she would not have died at this time.
Only a small number of people are in this precarious situation, it is hard to understand why DHBs do not address the problem, as it would not be terribly costly.
Of course, it's cheaper still to just let people die.
If a person's life depends on a ventilator, then it MUST have a battery back-up. It's not the car-crash or the electricity company that is responsible for the death, it is the DHB for supplying a life support device that was not fit for purpose.
Taking a health organisation to court for their role would be interesting. The Ministry's lawyers have previously argued that they have no duty of care, but I'm not sure how low DHBs would stoop.
fit for purpose.
Of course, it’s cheaper still to just let people die.
Angela Hart is, sadly, correct.
I suspect that there is, actually, deep in the bowels of the Ministry of Health operating policy, a redacted section that does say "no heroic measures" for 'consumers' who need "x" level of intervention to keep them alive.
This secret section is revealed only to those who attain a certain level of seniority in the bureaucracy, and it dictates their every fiscal decision...and the exalted ones are sworn to secrecy on pain of death.
The only explanation for some of the shitty decisions they make.
The issue with emergency back-up for breathing machines continues....
From the link above:
Moran was unharmed but shaken by the 7.8 magnitude November 14 earthquake, which struck just after midnight and felt strongly in the upper South and lower North Islands.
"It was pretty scary. It is really scary when you can't get out of bed and the power goes off, and you're reliant on some type of breathing machine," Moran said.
He needed to use the breathing machine when he was lying down, he said.
"My wife had to dress me and get me into my chair."
He asked his wife Sharon to turn off the water and gas and they stayed up until 3am, debating whether or not to leave the house.
If he didn't have a partner......
If he didn’t have a partner……
He'd be in a spot of bother.
However, after Christchurch, Civil Defence did get together with the necessary groups to formulate a disability specific 'disaster preparedness' plan.
Much of it is about planning and networking, but also about building resilience and self sufficiency. (I know the latter is relative and objective...but it does make sense for the person with the disability to lead their own survival plan.)
Actually, quite a commonsense document.