Traveling With Medical and Mobility Equipment

Overview

Are you planning to tour around and not sure of what is allowed and what is not allowed when traveling by flight? You did the right thing finding out here, we'll take you through briefly and precisely.

Do you think the size of the plane might be a factor affecting the bags to carry? Once upon a time, a travel blogger mentioned that the small planes usually have small closets but they're reserved for coats of First Class travelers. Shade! You'll tell us your opinion in the comment section below.

Anyway, you're here to know if you can carry around your medical equipment so let's get you on track. Medical devices are considered additional carry-on-items and allowed on board without an extra charge.

Since most of these machines are battery-operated, it is better to contact the airline's assistance service beforehand. Please find out early enough the regulations of the airline you'll be using which device is approved as a carry-on or vice versa. Nowadays, a number of medical equipment use lithium-ion batteries and are allowed on board.

In addition to that, you need to inform the airline of any medical devices attached to your body such as a stimulator to avoid any delays during screening. Those devices that can be disconnected from the body should be submitted for X-ray screening. If the connectors cannot be detached, then you may need additional screening using advanced imaging technology.

Important notice; If you are traveling on foreign land, it's important to note that it's mandatory to have a letter from your insurance company that the medical device is vitally important. Also, carry any needed, fully-charged batteries to avoid depending on the power outlet of the plane.

Patients with diabetes who need blood sugar test kits, or hypertension and need constant follow up of their blood pressure levels have home test kits that favor them.

 

Types of Bags on Board

A checked bag is luggage in compliance with the airline baggage regulations that are delivered to an airline for transportation during check-in. This luggage doesn’t have to be locked and is usually inaccessible to the passenger during the flight.

A carry-on bag is any piece of luggage that you can carry on to an airplane. It should fit when stowed under the seat or on the flight cabin. Most domestic airlines do not have a weight limit but it's best if you contact the support team and confirm the standard size and weight.

 

Carry-on Devices

Portable Oxygen Concentrator

When you're on oxygen supply continuously and need to step out and tour locally or globally, this is also for you. Firstly, you need a portable concentrator and importantly a lightweight one, weighing at least 2kgs. This helps you carry with ease.

The 2kgs concentrator is mostly recommended for elderly patients as it puts into consideration their weak muscles. Therefore, easily carried on the shoulder as it comes with a bag that has a shoulder strap.

Portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) that are Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approved as carry-on devices; OxyGo and OxyGo FIT, VBOX Trooper, Sequal Eclipse - Model 1, 2 and 3, SeQuel Equinox, SeQual Saros, Oxlife Independence, Oxlife, Respironics EverGo, Respironics SimplyGO, AirSep Focus, AirSep Freestyle, Inogen One, Inogen One G2, Inogen One G3, Invacare Solo2, Invacare XPO2, DeVilbiss Healthcare iGo, Oxus RS-0400 Evo, Inoa Labs Lifechoice, Inova Labs Lifechoice Activox, Delphi Medical Systems Rs-0400,  International Biophysics Lifechoice and Precision Medical EasyPulse.

Procedure;

Before boarding;

1. Check with the support team and confirm that your POC is approved to be used by the airline.

2. Let the airline agent test the POC and explain to them the cycle of using the concentrator while on board.

3. Confirm batteries are fully charged

 

Other carry-on medical devices allowed ob board include;

* Pulse oximeter

An oximeter can be carried onboard.

* Blood pressure monitor

Machines such as Omron BP monitors are allowed on the flight.

* Nebulizer

Nebulizer machines can be carried on board as well.

* TENS Unit

A TENS unit can be carried on board.

 

Carry-on Limits

Concerning respiratory devices, they are allowed as checked bags. The breathing apparatus which are used by rescue services are allowed only if they do not exceed 68 kgs.

CPAP and BIPAP Machine

A BIPAP machine and an automatic CPAP device are part of the breathing apparatus and are limited as carry-on bags but allowed as checked luggage. Please contact the airline customer service at least 2 days (48 hours) before the flight day.

 

Traveling with Mobility Devices

Airlines do allow a variety of mobility devices on-board. They can transport both manual and electric or battery-powered wheelchairs, scooters, folding and non-folding, powered carts, prosthetic devices among other mobility equipment.

Wheelchairs

There are a few regulations regarding battery-powered devices which you need to follow up with the airline in advance. These include factors like a compartment of the battery which should be rigid, defect-free battery among others. Place a call or email them at least two days earlier about this. Another issue might be the size and weight which should be checked beforehand to see if the mobility device meets restrictions for approved storage space on the plane.

Arrive an hour before check-in at the ticket counter to make sure the device meets all 'dangerous goods' handling requirements. Some of these requirements can be found on the Kentex Cargo platform. Arrive as carry-on bags but other power wheelchairs are transported as checked bags. For those who need to use motorized wheelchairs as a compulsory tool, they are allowed to board the plane with them with a few guidelines.

 

Final Thought

Most medical devices and mobility equipment are allowed on board as carry-on to cater to the needs of the users. But to be safe, it's always recommended you contact the airline earlier to know what will pass through and what is prohibited. For more information, kindly email us at sales@medical.ke or call us on 0722932625.

 

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