A Travel Checklist for COPD Sufferers


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Chronic lung disease shouldn’t stop you from traveling, visiting family and friends, and enjoying yourself—even if you use oxygen. You just need to be prepared. Changes in altitude and climate can affect breathing. This may require changes to your treatment, so talk to your healthcare provider about your plans.

Before Traveling

  • Get your prescriptions filled. Bring enough medication for your entire trip.

  • Get copies of your prescriptions. Ask your doctor if you might need prescriptions for any other medications while traveling.

  • Bring a list of your medications.

  • Ask your doctor what to do in case of infection. Your doctor may prescribe emergency medications just in case.

  • Call your insurance company. Make sure you’ll have coverage where you’re going.

  • Get a portable nebulizer (if needed).

  • While Traveling

    • Wear a medical ID bracelet. This should list your medical conditions and any medications you’re allergic to.

    • Use a hand sanitizer often. This helps kill germs and prevent infection.

    • Keep your medications in your carry-on bags. This way you’ll have them if you get separated from your checked luggage.

    • Use your rescue inhaler before you get up to move around (if one has been prescribed). For example, use it before getting off the plane.

    • Stretch your arms and legs if you’re sitting for long periods of time. This helps keep your blood moving. Try using your ankles and feet to spell out each letter of the alphabet.

    Medical Reviewers: Sara Foster, RN, MPH Last Review Date: Mar 13, 2013

    © 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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