During the summer months, many of our patients at AMSR hit the road by car or take a flight to explore new places and revisit old ones. Traveling with oxygen does not have to be complicated as long as everyone is prepared and educated!
Before taking off for some summer fun, the first thing to do should be to check with your physician. Let them know that you’re planning a trip; make sure that any restrictions on your activities are discussed. It’s also wise to have copies of any prescriptions with you, including one for oxygen, just in case something comes up along the way. Things to discuss with your doctor should include: traveling at higher altitudes than usual, going to areas of high pollution, extreme temperature or humidity and seasonal allergies.
The most crucial road rule of summertime travel with a POC is this: do not leave the unit in your automobile! Operating temperatures for these units go up to 104 fahrenheit; however, internal vehicle temperatures can easily exceed that at many popular vacation destinations, such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix. If your portable oxygen machine is exposed to exceedingly high temperatures, it is essential that the machine is brought back down to operating temperatures before being used.
Airline policies for taking portable oxygen concentrators on board can vary somewhat, but the general rule of thumb is that it’s necessary to have 150% of your total travel time (not just flight time) regarding charged batteries. Always be sure to check with your airline in advance (usually 24-48 hours) as most of them require a statement from your physician that will clear you to travel by air. They may want this information faxed in advance, but most will insist that you have it when checking in at the airport.
Portable oxygen concentrators are a great way to get out of the house and see the country. Don’t let your oxygen requirements get in the way of visiting family and friends. At AMSR, we’re here 7 days a week to help you with your POC rentals and purchases. Remember, when you breathe easier, we breathe easier!