Oxygen - travel; Collapsed lung - travel; Chest surgery - travel; COPD - travel; Chronic obstructive airways disease - travel; Chronic obstructive lung disease - travel; Chronic bronchitis - travel; Emphysema - travel
If you have breathing problems and you:
If you were in the hospital for your breathing problems and had:
Also talk to your doctor if you plan to travel in a place at a high altitude (such as Colorado or Utah).
Two weeks before you travel, tell your airline that you will need oxygen on the plane. (The airline may not be able to accommodate you if you tell them less than 48 hours before your flight.)
Airlines and airports will not provide oxygen while you are not on an airplane. This includes before and after the flight, and during a layover. Call your oxygen supplier who may be able to help.
On the day of travel:
Get a flu shot every year to help prevent infection. Ask your doctor if you need a pneumonia shot. Get one if you do.
Wash your hands often. Stay away from crowds. Ask visitors who have a cold to wear a mask.
Have a name, phone number, and address of a doctor. DO NOT go to areas that do not have good medical care.
Bring enough medicine, even some extra. Bring copies of your recent medical records with you.
Contact your oxygen company and find out if they can provide oxygen in the city you are traveling to.
American Lung Association website. What goes in an asthma or COPD travel pack? www.lung.org/about-us/blog/2017/09/asthma-copd-travel-pack.html. Updated March 16, 2018. Accessed July 23, 2019.
American Thoracic Society website. Oxygen therapy. www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/oxygen-therapy.pdf. Updated April 2016. Accessed February 28, 2018.
COPD Foundation website. Oxygen therapy. www.copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Living-with-COPD/Oxygen-Therapy.aspx. Updated June 2015. Accessed February 28, 2018.
Luks AM, Schiene RB, Swenson ER. High altitude. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 77.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 2/18/2018
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 07/23/2019.
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