Airplane travel with oxygen: O2 levels drop, any suggestions?

Posted by sistertwo @sistertwo, Sep 3 12:33pm

My husband uses a CPAP with oxygen (set at 3), but doesn't use it during the day. When we fly his o2 level dramatically drops so I would like to buy an inogen or similar type of machine. Any suggestions on what product, where/how to start with getting one and/or experience using them?
Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

This is definitely a question for your husband's pulmonologist, so that would be where to start.
You also need to know that the FAA and airlines have very specific requirements for traveling with oxygen concentrators, and do not allow O2 tanks.
You will need to have a letter of diagnosis from the doctor, with predicted/estimated volume need. Check the specific airline for requirements.
You will need an approved oxygen concentrator with sufficient battery life for the duration of the longest flight – don't count on being able to plug in. Any vendor should be able to provide a list, and help choose the best one for your needs.
If you travel infrequently, you may want to consider renting one so you don't have to maintain it for just occasional use.
Does this give you an idea of where to start?
Sue

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There is another discussion on this same topic that you might want to read through to learn what others have shared.
— Traveling and flying with oxygen: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/flying-with-oxygen/

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I thought this might also be helpful — Patient education: Supplemental oxygen on commercial airlines (Beyond the Basics): https://www.uptodate.com/contents/supplemental-oxygen-on-commercial-airlines-beyond-the-basics/print

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@johnbishop

I thought this might also be helpful — Patient education: Supplemental oxygen on commercial airlines (Beyond the Basics): https://www.uptodate.com/contents/supplemental-oxygen-on-commercial-airlines-beyond-the-basics/print

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Thank you and everyone. He put a call in to his doctor on Monday. Still waiting for a return call as to where to start from him. I feel that since he doctors at the VA and locally he gets left behind sometimes.

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@sistertwo

Thank you and everyone. He put a call in to his doctor on Monday. Still waiting for a return call as to where to start from him. I feel that since he doctors at the VA and locally he gets left behind sometimes.

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You said, "I feel that since he doctors at the VA and locally he gets left behind sometimes." I hear that often! There is a lot of problem with communication between doctors in different systems. Especially because there a several electronic recordkeeping systems, that do not necessarily communicate with one another. My friends who have to change networks for different parts of care, or when they seasonally locate, often find they must hand carry information between providers.
I see doctors in two different networks, both using the same software and patient portal, yet I must have 2 different logins to make appointments, see test results, etc. The patient records must be "manually released" after each visit, so the docs in both networks can see them!
Sue

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Thank you. He is likely going to have to do that. They both, the NP at the VA and the MD that Mayo has communicated with feel they are the the primary doctor and it gets confusing. He was set for a cardio rehab program, then the VA found out and after the consultation and going to first class, he got told the VA wanted to run their own tests. I don't understand why it has to be so complicated when he has private insurance. But, since the VA provides the CPAP and Oxygen, I imagine that's the problem. Very frustrating.

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