Oxygen tanks for lung cancer patients to use during travel

Posted by lozierpam54 @lozierpam54, Jan 23 11:01am

My husband was placed on oxygen yesterday and needs to stay on it indefinitely. I am trying to get him to MD Anderson on January 29th. Any info is greatly appreciate (battery operated oxygen tanks, what is allowed on airplane, etc.).

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Hi @lozierpam54, I don't think you can carry oxygen tanks on an airplane but you can take the battery powered oxygen concentrators on the plane. The TSA has more information here:

— Portable Oxygen Concentrators: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/portable-oxygen-concentrators.

You might also find this article helpful:
— Oxygen Therapy: Traveling with Oxygen: https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-procedures-and-tests/oxygen-therapy/traveling-with-oxygen.

You might also want to check with the specific airline you are taking. Do you know what airline you will be taking?

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I’ve had good experiences with the portable concentrators and traveling. I know that any anxiety over finding myself delayed someplace, and depleting a tank (whether likely or not), are greatly reduced with the portable. That’s worthwhile by itself.

Anytime I find I need to travel, I speak with the same folks who manage my large concentrator, and they will fix me up with a portable for the duration.

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@rjwade

I’ve had good experiences with the portable concentrators and traveling. I know that any anxiety over finding myself delayed someplace, and depleting a tank (whether likely or not), are greatly reduced with the portable. That’s worthwhile by itself.

Anytime I find I need to travel, I speak with the same folks who manage my large concentrator, and they will fix me up with a portable for the duration.

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Yes, the smaller tanks and rolling case are great for auto travel but you need a concentrator with sufficient battery life for one and a half time the flight duration.
I have never heard of a medical supply company that provides a portable concentrator for air travel, and believe me we have searched. Had to break down and purchase one and it was thousands of dollars.

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I bought an Inogen 5, which is allowed for air travel. You need to register it with the airline. When I was registering with Delta, they have a company that approves your machine. I noticed that you are able to rent a machine or batteries. However, I found it much easier to have the portable oxygen concentrator whenever I left the house. I had a lot of problems with the tanks (running out) that I didn't with the machine. I have the car charger and the regular charger. The machine can be used when it is regularly charging. However, the car charger didn't seem to charge when in use (battery level stayed the same, which is still good on a long car ride). My machine is a puffer and you need to make sure that you are able to use a puffer (not a constant stream but is based on your breathing). Another thing you want to look at is the weight and how loud it is. One day while waiting for the pulmonologist, I started comparing my machine to another lady's. Hers was noisy and heavy from our discussion. I also bought the extra battery with mine and a backpack. You can put the machine and your medicine in the backpack and as long as you don't have anything else in it, it doesn't count as a carry-on or personnel item (this is for most airlines that you can have medications, as long as no liquids over the 3 oz in a quart size bag, and it doesn't count toward your total).

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