Disabled SA man dies in blackout

By Georgie Moore

The death of a disabled man whose life support failed during a blackout at his Adelaide home is outrageous, a South Australian MP says.

The man, thought to have muscular dystrophy, died in his Wayville home last week when a power outage switched off his ventilator, Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent says.

She believes the current system - with online notifications of unplanned blackouts and a 24-hour phone line for affected customers - fails some of society's most vulnerable people.

"All you can do is log onto a website and say the power's out in your area," Ms Vincent told AAP on Wednesday.

"If you're already struggling to breathe, I'm sure you're already aware of the problem with the electricity.

"So I don't think registering it on a website would be useful."

SA Power Networks said the state's 4500 registered life-support customers should have back-up power sources in the case of an emergency.

"Our job is to get power to people's homes, not to look after individual health needs," a spokesman said.

Ms Vincent raised the idea of manual check-ups for life-support customers during unplanned blackouts.

"If they're alone in the house, then it doesn't do much good because they probably are aware of it but no one's around to help," she said.

"There needs to be increased support to make sure people have access to backups in the event of an electrical failure, to make sure alarms are in place, to make sure they have in-person support if needed."

Two young Perth men with muscular dystrophy died in July last year after their life support stopped working when a tornado cut power to their home.