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PREVENT

Traveling with oxygen this holiday season? Seven tips for a safe, hassle-free experience

While the need for oxygen can add complication to your trip, if you're otherwise healthy enough to travel, a little advance planning can help. Here are seven tips to smooth out possible snags.

  1. Contact your home oxygen therapy and respiratory services center several weeks before you're scheduled to leave on your trip. They can advise you on how to ensure you have a reliable supply of oxygen while traveling, including helping you locate a vendor in the area you're traveling to. They may also recommend the use of a portable oxygen concentrator (POC).
  2. Carry a copy of your prescription.
  3. If you're traveling by car, secure the equipment—you don't want it rolling around. And don't leave oxygen in a closed car, especially in hot weather. Make sure it is always well-ventilated.
  4. When making reservations to travel by bus or train, ask if the company has special rules around transporting oxygen. Find out if you'll have access to an electrical outlet for your POC.
  5. Before you purchase an airline ticket, ask your airline about its rules for traveling with oxygen. Each airline is different, but you will likely need to provide your prescription and a letter from your doctor.
  6. Ensure your equipment is FAA approved if traveling by air.
  7. Plan for enough battery life in your POC to last you through boarding, flight time and deplaning—and allow time for travel delays. Airlines generally require 150 percent battery life for the length of your trip.

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