Y2k: If you're on life support let kanawha Co. know (WV)

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Y2K: if youre on life support, let Kanawha Co. know By WSAZ NewsChannel 3 Charleston, WV- In just a matter of days now, it will be the year 2000.

Electric companies in our region say theyre ready if Y2K causes any glitches. But some people who depend on electronic devices to live worry the power supply will be bitten by the Y2K bug. Now Kanawha County wants some patients to prepare for the New Year. I cant explain it. Its just a fear you have in you that it might happen, Lorene Elkins describes her feelings about the approaching holiday. If there is a power failure, Lorenes life could be in dnager. Shes on life support. When she sleeps, Lorene uses an electronic device that helps open her airway. I say my prayers every night that make sure everything is all right, she said. Jeff Brooks provides home respiratory care and equipment. He doesnt think Y2K will be a life threatening experience. I think it will be more of a consoling, and trying to settle down the anxiety (of patients) than any real medical emergencies, Brooks said. But if the outlets in Lorenes home dont work, she wont be able to get oxygen from this system. Her heart is too weak to do the job itself. If the power DOES go out, and you dont have a backup generator, you can use an oxygen cylinder. Its portable and can last up to eight hours. I think the key is to get them comfortable and confident on how to get on their backup systems, Brooks said. Mr. Brooks says most patients could be on their backup oxygen supply within 45 seconds, and that time lapse isnt a dangerous one. If youre on life support and dont have a backup power supply, Kanawha County wants to know where you live. They want to have access to the people most in need on New Years. Just send your name and address to the Charleston Fire Department Training Center. That address: 115 Lee Street West Charleston, WV 25302

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), December 21, 1999

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