Travelling with oxygen

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The idea of going home on oxygen is overwhelming so travelling with it can seem a bit scary. Before I go deeper into my experiences, I want to remind you to always ask your physician or pulmonologist first to determine the best way to travel.

We notified our doctors months in advance of our travels. For us, our pediatrician was okay with flying, but our pulmonologist was not. So we chose to drive instead.

Our first trip was about a nine to ten hour drive from San Diego, Ca to Sacramento, Ca. We rented a third row seated SUV for the drive as we were also travelling with a couple of friends and we knew we were bringing along our concentrator and extra portable tanks.

Visiting my aunty + cousins in Sacramento, Ca

How we packed Adam for the trip:

  1. I bought a storage bin to carry Adam’s clothes (for 3 nights), diapers, wipes, nebulizer machine and meds, toys, blankets and a pillow for him.
  2. We stood the concentrator up in the trunk, next to his bin and piled the rest of our stuff on top.

We ultimately wanted to be prepared when it came to Adam. We brought the concentrator to use at my in-laws house and his portables for use outside the home. Keep in mind we also lugged around his pulsox machine as well.

Personally now looking back, I think that we overpacked, but you can never be too sure. I would recommend contacting your medical supply company two weeks in advance to reserve a portable concentrator to use on long hauls or when flying.

How to travel by car:

  1. Make frequent stops. I know this is not ideal when you are trying to get somewhere, but it is very necessary. You’ll want to take your child out of their seat and let them stretch, relax and maybe even eat or be changed.
  2. Always check your monitor and tanks to make sure they are reading right, especially your tank being used as it could lose air from pressure.

How to travel by plane:

  1. Get approval from your pediatrician and pulmonologist.
  2. Reserve your portable concentrator two weeks in advanced—once cleared to fly.

I’d recommend packing diapers and wipes for flight and purchasing more once you reach your destination to free up space for other things.

Also as a reminder—again—to get clearance from your pediatrician and pulmonologist as they can give you proper advice on how to travel with your child on oxygen.

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