Traveling with a CPAP Machine
July 16, 2013
By Guest Author

Whether you’re new to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy or not, preparing to travel with your CPAP machine can raise a few questions if you’ve never traveled with it before. How should I pack the machine? Will the device make it through airport security? Can I use it on the plane? How will I power the machine on the plane, in different countries, or on road trips?

Traveling by Plane with a CPAP Machine
If your CPAP machine is small enough, it’s a good idea to take it on the plane as carry-on luggage. This way, if your checked luggage is lost, you’ll still be able to comply with your treatment and you won’t have to pay for a new machine. If you’re a frequent flyer, you may want to purchase a travel-sized CPAP for your convenience.

As you go through airport security, you’ll be asked to take the CPAP machine out of its case (the mask and tubing can stay) and place it into a bin. You can ask for a clear plastic bag if you’re worried about keeping the machine clean – TSA personnel recognize that those bins aren’t very sanitary. The machine will be x-rayed and swabbed for explosive trace. The reason for an Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) test is that there are certain parts of the machine that don’t appear clearly on an x-ray image. For the ETD test, you can ask the TSA personnel to change their gloves and use a fresh swab to keep your machine as germ-free as possible.

During the flight, you’re allowed to use your CPAP. Since it’s a recognized medical device, flight personnel are not permitted to stop you from using or make it difficult for you to use your machine. If you need an outlet, you’ll have to sit in business or first class. This is an unnecessary extra cost just to use your machine. Instead, you can purchase a CPAP battery. The C-100 CPAP battery can provide power for up to 30 hours depending on the type of machine you own. This is perfect for long flights when you want to sleep.

While we’re on the topic of traveling very long distances, if you’re taking an international flight and you have a relatively new CPAP machine, it should have a universal power supply, but you will still need an adapter for foreign plugs. However, older machines that work on different voltages may need a transformer as well as an adapter.  It is important to check with your CPAP machine supplier or sleep clinic to make sure your equipment is suitable for use in another country.  If not, it is easy to rent a CPAP machine when you arrive at your destination.

Road Trips with a CPAP Machine
If your travel plans entail long hours in a car, you might want to be able to use your CPAP machine so that you can take a nap during the day or sleep at night. A CPAP battery can help you here, too. Plus, it’s good to have as a backup in case there isn’t a place for you to plug in your machine for whatever reason while you’re traveling.

Batteries for CPAP Machine
For traveling, we recommend the C-100 battery. It comes with a carrying case and some attachments including a recharger and connectors that will power most other CPAP batteries. It also comes with a chord that will allow you to hook up two batteries for almost double the power time. The soft case even has a pocket to hold an extra battery.

Guest Author: Devon McCrossin.
Devon recently traveled to Fiji and Australia.  She loves to travel to exotic places around the world and thinks that sleep apnea should not prevent anyone from experiencing new cultures and foreign adventures.

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