New video of the Invacare Precise Rx Pediatric Flow Meter attached to the DeVilbiss Healthcare iGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator. The iGo is approved for use by the FAA. This is a solution for an oxygen dependent child that is prescribed a low flow of oxygen and is traveling by air. The Flow Meter delivers 1/16th – 3/4 LPM or 50-750 cc/min. The iGo offers 1 LPM as its lowest setting. This Invacare Precise Rx Pediatric Flow Meter will work on any concentrator delivering at least 2 LPM. Click below for the video. Continue reading
Just added a new video to youtube. It’s the Invacare Precise Rx Pediatric Flow Meter attached to the SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator. The SimplyGo is not yet approved by the FAA, but hopefully will be by the end of 2012. This is still a great option for a family’s solution to traveling with an oxygen dependent child that is prescribed a low flow of oxygen. The Flow Meter delivers 1/16th – 3/4 LPM or 50-750 cc/min. The SimplyGo offers .5 LPM as its lowest setting. The lowest setting on any portable oxygen concentrator is .5 LPM. When the SimplyGo is approved for use on airplanes, it will be the 5th to offer a continuous flow. This Invacare Precise Rx Pediatric Flow Meter will work on any concentrator delivering at least 2 LPM. With the SimplyGo weighing 10 lbs, this is the lightest setup for a child or infant to use. Click below to jump to the video. Continue reading
Policies for the airlines regarding portable oxygen concentrators can change anytime. Always refer to your airlines website about traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator for the latest details. JetBlue just updated there website with some important information about using a portable oxygen concentrator. Looks like the critical change is the Physician Statement can not be a generic form, it must be a current letter from your doctor with the following information:
- The user must be able to operate the device and recognize any and all alarms associated with the machine. If the user can not, they must travel with someone who can.
- The specific phases of flight where the portable oxygen concentrator is needed, ie: taxi, takeoff, cruise, and landing.
- The max oxygen flow rate corresponding to cabin pressure under normal operating conditions. (JetBlue Cabins are pressurized to 8,000 feet)
- Must be printed on Physician Letterhead within a year to date of travel
There are 3 main elements to flying with Portable Oxygen Concentrators. The equipment must be FAA Approved, bring enough batteries to meet the airlines requirements, and having a signed airline specific physician statement.
- FAA Approved Device: Currently there are 12 FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators. Most have a label stating it is FAA approved for in flight use. There are a few machines awaiting approval. Compressed gas oxygen tanks or liquid oxygen portable units are forbidden on commercial flights. An FAA approved portable oxygen concentrator is only allowed to bring on and use.
- Batteries: Most airlines require 150% of the flight time to equal your battery time. So, if its a 4 hour flight, 6 hours of battery time is needed to meet the airlines requirements. Each portable oxygen concentrator has different settings for different liter flows. Higher flows mean less battery time. Click here for a battery duration chart of all the current FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrator’s. Some airlines like United & Continental have different rules regarding the batteries. There rule is travel time plus 3 hours. So, a 4 hour flight requires 7 hours of battery time. Other airlines may not count a stop somewhere, United & Continental do. Travel time includes any stops along the way. Ensure you check with your airlines website regarding there specific battery requirements.
- The Physician Statemet: Each airline has there own specific Physician Statement, check your airlines website for a PDF to download and have your doctor review and sign. This one page document must be carried with you on the plane. It states that the patient can use a Portable Oxygen Concentrator for various or all stages of travel. There is a place for the doctor to establish a Liter Flow or LPM for the flight. Some people use the same flow rates in the air as on the ground. Some people need higher flow rates in the air than on the ground. It is important to know exactly what your needs are for the trip. Some airlines like Delta, have a 3rd party to review your statement that was signed by your doctor. Delta and this 3rd party require a 48 hour notice to approve your document is filled out correctly. You may be flying on multiple airlines, ensure you have each airlines specific physician statement about using a portable oxygen concentrator with you, one for each carrier your flying on.
Planning is key to a successful trip while using a portable oxygen concentrator. Advanced Aeromedical is a great source for information about traveling with oxygen. Advanced Aeromedical rents and sells FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators. Call us at 800-346-3556 or check out aeromedic.com
American Airlines was the last US flagged air carrier to offer continuous flow therapeutic medical oxygen for special needs passengers in the 48 states. As of July 23, 2012, American will no longer offer inflight medical oxygen. Alaska Airlines is the only carrier left that will provide oxygen on a limited amount of flights with in Alaska and Alaska to Seattle or Portland. Continental Micronesia also provides the in flight Therapeutic oxygen service out of Guam. You can of course use a FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrator on American Airlines as well as any airline flying in and out of the US as per the Air Carrier Access Act. There are currently 12 different Portable Oxygen Concentrators that can be used on commercial airlines approved by the FAA. These machines are designed for most people using oxygen. There are some people that can not use a Portable Oxygen Concentrator. Of the 12 that are approved, 4 of the products will deliver a continuous flow. All of the machines offer a Pulse Delivery which delivers oxygen upon inspiration only up to a setting of 6 . The continuous flow machines reach a max setting of 3 LPM (Liters per Minute). Many International carriers offer on-board medical oxygen. However, those numbers are decreasing as well. Extra batteries are needed for long flights, plus any delays. There are new machines awaiting FAA approval like the SimplyGo made by Phillips Respironics. This machine is half the weight of other continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators, the batteries last longer too. It is important to understand that the advent of portable oxygen concentrators, even with their limitations, have allowed many more people to travel with oxygen than ever before. All of the low-cost carriers have had access to passengers needing medical oxygen since 2005, the first federal approval mandating the use of these machines during flight. These airlines never provided oxygen on the ground, a separate service was needed to provide airport oxygen. Portable oxygen concentrators have made traveling with oxygen so much easier. As the machines get smaller, last longer, and offer higher flows of oxygen, more people who are oxygen dependent will be able to travel. Advanced Aeromedical at aeromedic.com is an information resource for people traveling with oxygen, ready to assist at 800-346-3556 in the USA or +1-757-481-1590 internationally.