Excessive fluctuations of power line voltage can result in defective performance of some commercially available electronic medical monitoring devices.
Transient decreases in electrical outlet voltage were found to explain malfunctioning of apnea monitors which failed to alarm when infants stopped breathing. This report suggests that specifications should be established for performance of monitoring equipment and that electrical outlet voltage should be carefully maintained within known limits in areas in which monitoring of critically ill patients is necessary.
Edwards NK, Atherton HD, Perlstein PH, Sutherland JM. Phantom Breathing in Monitored Infants. Am J Dis Child. 1973;125(5):684-685. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.04160050038007