Traveling with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator: 5 Tips
Who said you can’t travel, being an oxygen patient? Nowadays, oxygen concentrators have a lightweight and compact build to enhance portability. An excellent example would be the latest Philips Everflo Oxygen Concentrator.
So, it doesn’t matter if you’re driving to the store or flying off to another country. Traveling has become an easy and enjoyable activity for patients, too. All thanks to the portable oxygen concentrators!
But, do not forget that the medical device requires careful handling. There are some dos and don’ts you need to follow. Without further ado, let’s explore them below!
Talk to Your Healthcare Specialist
Airplanes experience great air pressure that can severely affect your breathing. So, before you even buy the tickets, visit your healthcare specialist for a detailed and thorough checkup. Tell him where and how you will be traveling.
Typically, your doctor will explain the necessary changes in oxygen flow rate at different altitudes. However, if there’s a problem, you may receive special requirements for safe travel. It’s best to carry a copy of those prescriptions when you travel.
Make Arrangements with the Airlines
Although many airlines allow oxygen patients, it’s still wise to contact the management and inform them about the situation. Mention all the medical equipment that you may carry. You can also get any special arrangements made at this time.
For example, you can get wheelchair assistance or a dedicated space for your concentrator. Try to connect with the airline at least 48-hours before the flight.
Ensure Your FAA Approval
Not every portable oxygenator, pulse oximeter, or CPAP machine for sale has FAA approval. In case you don’t know, the FAA stands for Federation Aviation Administration which functions in the USA. It tests and labels the medical equipment as FAA-approved if suitable to carry in an aircraft.
So, before you travel, make sure all your medical equipment has the FAA seal. The airline will not allow you to take the devices without them. Besides, also go through the FAA guidelines regarding the use.
Carry a Pulse Oximeter
A pulse oximeter refers to a gadget that measures the oxygenated hemoglobin in your blood. Since it tells oxygen saturation, all oxygen patients must carry it while traveling. You can use it to monitor your health easily.
If the saturation level drops, you can increase the flow rate of the concentrator and vice versa. Please consult a specialist and ask him to provide a detailed explanation of the device usage. Do not increase/decrease flow rate without prior experience.
Do Not Travel Alone!
Breathlessness can often leave the patient incapable of immediate response. So, find someone who can accompany you during your travels. It can be your spouse, friend, family member, or even a kind stranger.
Having someone will ensure that help is always available. Plus, it will reduce your stress levels and make the trip enjoyable!