Traveling with severe COPD is possible, but requires some extra preparations. We have put together a list of things important to consider but easy to forget:
Notify your doctor
If you have any doubts about your ability to travel, talk to your doctor. They might also need to provide you with paperwork verifying all your medications, including oxygen.
Make a list
Bring a list with name and phone numbers to your doctor, your oxygen supplier, and your respiratory therapist. Also write down all current medications, how often you take them, and in what dosage. Keep this list with you at all times. Also make sure to wear your emergency medical identification.
Bring copies of your prescriptions
If you’re considering a medical transport on a commercial plane, bus, train, or ship, you will very likely have to show your prescription to be able to bring oxygen.
Bring enough medicine
Pack all medication and supplies in your carry-on. Make sure to bring more than you think that you will need, in case anything happens and you’re delayed.
If you’re on a medical transport with oxygen, here are some additional considerations:
- Contact your home health care company. Tell them where you’re going, how long you will be staying, and how you intend to get there. They can help you arrange for oxygen upon your arrival, and will help you make sure you don’t run out.
- Test your portable oxygen system. Make sure you know how to use it, and how long the oxygen will last. You might need refills.
- If you travel by commercial airline, cruise ship, bus, or train, tell them about your oxygen requirement when you make the reservation. Some carriers have extra fees, and others do not allow personal portable oxygen concentrators at all. Even if they are allowed, you have to tell the company in advance or you will not be able to bring your equipment.
- Remember to account for time zones. Depending in which direction you go, a trip over one or more time zones will add hours to your oxygen use.
If you want to travel, but wonder if you can handle it all, here are some transport options:
A travel nurse can be a good solution. The MED Coach transports every patient with a licensed and trained nurse with at least five years experience. They go everywhere with their client, by any means. Whether you want to travel by private car, commercial airline, cruise ship, or train, the travel nurse can be by your side. They will assist with blood pressure monitoring, oxygen, medications, luggage, travel documents, and anything else that can come up during the journey.
A travel nurse would be happy to accompany you home for the holidays, to a family celebration such as birthday, graduation, or wedding, on a vacation, or wherever else you want to go.
Long distance medical transportation by ground and air
If you need or want a complete long distance medical transport package, MED Transport Center can help you get where you need to be in a smooth and efficient manner.
If time is a factor, we provide a 24-hour non-emergency air ambulance service that can take you anywhere in the world with a staff and plane that fits your situation and schedule. A Flight Nurse and a Respiratory Therapist or a Paramedic accompanies each flight crew. If needed or wanted, a Flight Physician can be added to the team.
The MED Coach provides an option for luxury roadside travel in a medically equipped full-size coach. The vehicle is equipped with wheelchair lift as well as stretcher lift to make it easy to board even with limited mobility. There is an on-board bathroom, hospital bed, kitchen, and a wide range of amenities. A MED Coach comes with two professional drivers and a registered nurse that will take good care of you and provide everything you need during the transport.