Rivian R1T Powers Patient’s Vasectomy After Clinic Power Outage

It brings a whole new meaning to the term “truck nuts.”

byLewin Day| PUBLISHED Sep 1, 2022 7:02 PM
Rivian R1T Powers Patient’s Vasectomy After Clinic Power Outage
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The Rivian R1T can run all the equipment you need to perform a vasectomy as one enterprising doctor has demonstrated this week.

Update: 09/02/22 10:25 p.m. ET: The article has been updated with comment from Dr. Christopher Yang.

Christopher Yang is a urologist practicing in Austin, Texas, who specializes in men's health. On Thursday, the good doctor had a vasectomy scheduled, but the power to his clinic had gone out. As the patient had already arranged time off for the procedure, they were eager to go ahead. Thus, Yang got creative, and figured he could press his Rivian R1T into service instead.

"There was no lightbulb moment, but my staff and I were discussing whether to cancel the vasectomy due to the power outage.  One of them jokingly mentioned that we should run it off of the Rivian," said Yang, adding "After more thought, it seemed that it would work. I discussed the risks [and] benefits with the patient, and he agreed to proceed."

The R1T has four power outlets—one in the cabin, one in the gear tunnel, and two in the truck bed. Yang was thus able to power his electrocautery machine and other necessary equipment from the Rivian's battery, allowing the procedure to go ahead. For the uninitiated, an electrocautery machine uses electrically-generated heat to melt and destroy tissue and stop bleeding.

According to Yang, the surgery went well with no complications from the odd choice of power supply. "We were fortunate that my normal parking spot is close enough to a patient room to run an extension cord," Yang notes.

The electrocautery machine and a small fan had no problem running off the Rivian as a power supply. Yang was prepared in the case of any issues, though. "It ended up working very well.  I had a backup (nonpowered) source of cautery in case the electrocautery failed, but did not have to use it," said Yang.

Obviously, some of us would be squeamish at the idea of getting a vasectomy done under such conditions. One certainly wouldn't want the cable to get yanked out mid-procedure, after all.

A safe cable run is key, taped to the ground to minimize trip hazards. Someone should stay with the truck too, ensuring nobody interferes with the power supply. Without due care, someone taking the truck to nip out for a coffee could spell disaster for whoever's on the operating table. The excuse that "I thought it was just charging!" will come as cold comfort to the poor sap laying there with half a vasectomy.

Outside of those risks, though, it's fundamentally not that strange an idea. The Rivian supplies up to 1.5 kW of power at 110 V AC, just like a regular wall socket. If that's what the equipment is designed to use, there's no issues running it in such a manner.

With proper contingencies in place, the risk involved is minimal. Yang did everything right, seeking consent and making sure backup equipment was on hand to ensure the procedure went smoothly regardless of what happened. Overall, it was a resounding success. "The patient, his family, and I had a good laugh about it after!" Yang says.

We've seen the Ford F-150 Lightning charge five other cars at once, and now Rivian is helping out in the medical field. If Tesla is going to join the fight, it's going to have to pull off a cardiopulmonary bypass in the back of a Cybertruck at 100 mph. The real question is this, however: would you be game for a Rivian-powered vasectomy? Sound off below.

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