Oxygen Use While Traveling With COPD

The spring and summer months offer a great time to get out there and enjoy a vacation. Yet, for those with COPD, a getaway may seem a bit out of reach. My friends, it is possible to enjoy a vacation, even with COPD and supplemental oxygen!

Using oxygen concentrators while traveling by car

If you are traveling by car, use a portable oxygen concentrator. Car chargers, wall chargers, and extended batteries are very helpful.

Some extended batteries allow up to ten hours of power at level one of oxygen. If you need higher amounts, level three or four will reduce the fully charged extended battery to four to six hours.

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You can take your in-home oxygen concentrator in the car. Most, if not all, have wheels that make it easy to get out the door and to your vehicle.

Store the unit in your car, standing straight up and never on its side. In warmer weather, avoid leaving the unit in the car for extended amounts of time. If you are running in for a meal while on the road, provide a cracked window for ventilation in the car.

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Renting oxygen equipment for travel

If you don't want to bring your in-home oxygen concentrator with you, you can have your doctor prescribe a temporary rental from a local medical equipment provider in the town you are going to.

My mom and I did that on a trip we took to Vegas. The supplier met us in the lobby of our hotel, brought the unit up to our room, plugged it in and my mom was all set. We dropped it off at the medical supply place on the way to the airport.

The same rental process applies to those who use oxygen canisters. Talk to your doctor and devise a plan that works for you.

Air travel with COPD and oxygen equipment

Speaking of air travel, that is possible with COPD, too! Most airline carriers will allow portable air concentrators but require batteries to last at least twice the amount of flying time.

It is always good to call ahead and confirm your airline's travel guidance before booking your flight. Checking for any last-minute medical equipment aviation policy changes before heading to the airport, as well.

When you are out and about on the road or a getaway, always have a bag with your wall charger, extra nasal cannulas, and a car charger for you to use. Plan to seek out areas where you can rest and recharge your battery in your portable oxygen concentrator.

Never let it drop below 10% of the battery. Think of your battery life like your car gas tank. You never want to get to the empty level or low battery light. That unnecessary panic has no place on a relaxing vacation.

Do you have any tips for oxygen use while traveling? Please share them in the comments below!

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