Flying with lung disease

Posted by fracturedd @fracturedd, Tue, Jun 25 9:58am

I’m scared to fly due to my lung disease!! I last flew 3 years ago in August. In September my lung collapsed. Part of me thinks maybe during the flight one of my lung nodules “bursted” which wasn’t enough to make my lung collapse, but put me at risk. Then caring on with physical activity,,, moving my hot tub filter, my lung officially collapsed. Or it had nothing to do with the flight and I shouldn’t have been lifting heavy things during a coughing attack. Ugh I really want to get on a plane. Does anyone else fly with bad lungs?? I will say I do feel short of breath during flight. My pulmonologist says it’s a risk worth taking. Did anyone else ask their pulmonologist advice on this topic,,,and if so please share.

@fracturedd– It think that we are limited here too. I was stopped from flying internationally after proton radiation because of all the "bugs" that I could pick up- germs from an area I am unfamiliar with so would have no immunity to.
Double check with your PCP. and see what they think. It's your declension whether or not to chance a the risk.

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I have done 10 000 miles in the last 5 weeks with bad lungs. I fly 1st class, with a POC, I take my own power wheelchair with me and have wipes and wear a mask I'm traveling back and forth from Portland Oregon to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida. 3 weeks for lung transplant evaluation and am currently in the hospital here having just completed iliac artery surgery today. All went well and now on to selection on Thursday I hope.
With care you can travel, my transplant team fully supports my traveling because they know it will fix my lung problems.

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@djallan

I have done 10 000 miles in the last 5 weeks with bad lungs. I fly 1st class, with a POC, I take my own power wheelchair with me and have wipes and wear a mask I'm traveling back and forth from Portland Oregon to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida. 3 weeks for lung transplant evaluation and am currently in the hospital here having just completed iliac artery surgery today. All went well and now on to selection on Thursday I hope.
With care you can travel, my transplant team fully supports my traveling because they know it will fix my lung problems.

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You get around,,that's wonderful. I'm happy your surgery went well. I also went for a lung transplant evaluation,, however I did not qualify. So your lungs do okay with the pressure from the flight? I'm sorry what is a POC?
Thanks for sharing and good luck with the lung transplant evaluation.

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Portable Oxygen Concentrator , I pick flights that have electrical power at each seat so I can just plug in. The airline's make you carry batteries for 1 1/2 the total fight time.
Everything works well with good planning and smart precautions.
I also follow my pulmonologist's on both coasts recommendations at all costs and it works for me.
I know several people who have had TX's and travel extensively including cruises and to Europe.

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Lol, POC, Clearly I'm slow. Thank you, this makes me feel better. I have flown many times prior to my pneumothorax without any problems. I guess I just over think sometimes. I'm not on oxygen,,but it would make me feel better to travel with it,,just in case. Thanks again.

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Hi everyone, I wanted to share this discussion on Flying with oxygen. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/flying-with-oxygen/

@fracturedd have you discussed flying with your primary care physician yet?

@djallan that is so many airline miles! Have you flown more since then? Or have any flights coming up?

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Hi @ethanmcconkey I don't really have a primary care doctor. I really rely on my pulmonologist for everything. (And rheumatologist). I know that's crazy. However my pulmonologist prescribed me lorazapam for the flight. Ugh,,, I don't know. I just worry the pressure from the flight will cause my lung to collapse. She said the risk is low but it is a risk. So we will see. Fingers crossed.

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I have pulmonary fibrosis. my wife and i travel frequently. we ave pac that we take with us.to use pac on the plan you have to register it with the the air line. on the web site for the airline do a search for oxygen use and it should say what you need to get authorized to use the POC on the plane, you will need enough batteries fr the flight. you should submit your request several weeks in advance.

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