Do you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSP)? If so, then it’s impossible to travel anywhere without your faithful CPAP machine.
CPAP is a short form of continuous positive airway pressure. The CPAP machine works to send a stable, pressurized flow of oxygen into the patient’s nose and mouth. It helps keep the air passages open and makes breathing well.
Nowadays, you can easily find a portable CPAP machine for sale. But, traveling with one is not a piece of cake. There are several dos and don’ts that you should be aware of.
Well, today’s guide is all about flying with your CPAP machine safely. So, before you board that plane, give this article a read!
How to Travel with Your CPAP Machine?
Contact the Airline
Most airlines do not have any special procedures regarding the transport of personal medical equipment. Nevertheless, it’s best to call the airline management and inquire. Make sure to explain to them your health condition and the devices you’ll be carrying.
Please note airlines will not entertain last-minute calls or changes. So, contact them at least 48-hours before the flight.
Ensure FAA Approval
The Federal Aviation Administration forms all the rules and guidelines. It also tests all the CPAP and BiPAP machines for sale. The ones suitable for travel carry an FAA approval seal.
You need to make sure all of your medical devices have this seal. Without it, the airlines will not let you carry them.
Ready Your Documentation
Although you won’t need it, always ready all your CPAP machine documents. These include the manufacturer’s FAA compliance notification and doctor’s prescription. Get them photocopied and keep them along just in case the authorities ask.
Buy a CPAP Travel Bag
For legal reasons, you cannot pack a CPAP machine in your carry-on bag. The airlines consider it a medical device, so you must carry it in a separate travel bag. You will find them easily in the market.
That said, invest in a clear plastic bag too. During airport checking, you may have to take the CPAP machine out for the x-ray scanner. But, you can let it stay wrapped in a clear plastic bag for hygiene purposes.
Pack Extra CPAP Supplies
Believe it or not, mask cushions and filters tend to break when you need them the most. It can be a catastrophe for sleep apnea patients. So, always pack a bunch of extra gear.
Also, keep a couple of distilled water bottles. You never know if the travel destination will have the right water available for your CPAP machine.
Tips for Flying with Your CPAP Machine
- Charge the batteries and keep a power adapter along. It will make sure the machine’s power cord remains compatible everywhere.
- Empty the humidification bottle of the CPAP machine and dry it thoroughly. Also, clean the rest of the device before packing. It will ensure no mold or mildew accumulates.
- Pack a box of CPAP wipes to clean the equipment on the go. The non-alcoholic wipes are easy and efficient. Plus, they save your bottled water supply!