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Traveling by Air with Urinary Catheters

by billf April 16 2013 11:07

traveling by air with urinary catheters

Traveling with urinary catheters can be a bit intimidating, especially for people who are new to cathing. 180 Medical likes to keep our patients well informed, and up to speed with the latest urological research, news, and tips.

I spoke with Bill, who works for 180 Medical, for some tips on cathing while traveling. He was kind enough to give some very helpful tips. Bill was injured in a motocross accident over 23 years ago and has real world experience traveling as a quadriplegic.

bill f 180 medical employeeContact the Airline

One of the first things to do is to contact the airline you will be traveling with and inquire if the airline has any special procedures for traveling with catheters. The airline should advise of procedures you should follow. Ask if the equipment you bring on board meets Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines and follow some basic hygiene steps during the flight.

I have never had a problem with the airlines questioning why I am carrying the catheters and supplies, but if you are concerned you can always contact the airline you are traveling with and let them know.

Carry-on Bag Regulations

TSA has established air travel laws and regulations pertaining to liquids. For carry-on bags, you must place all liquids of 3.4 oz or less must fit on one quart-sized, clear, plastic zipper-lock bag. If your catheters have a water packet, they would need to be placed in the clear bag. Since medications are an exception to the rule, the catheters with water packets might be okay, with doctor documentation, but check with the airline to make sure. If you have lubricant, make sure it is 3.4oz or less, and it would also need to go in a clear plastic bag. For those who use lubricant with their catheters, the airline should be okay with it as it is required to catheterize.  You should not be limited on how much you can take, but keep it with your catheters so it will be more apparent what it is used for.  I have not had a problem with leakage but it might not be a bad idea to put the lubricant into a plastic bag. 

Pack the majority of your supplies in your check in luggage, but take enough on your carry on bag to last you until you get to your destination plus a few extra. One other option would be to ship your supplies to your destination. This way you don't have to worry about carrying around the extra load in your luggage.

Bring Extra Catheters

Count the number of catheters you will need for your trip.  It is a good idea to take enough extra catheters to last an extra day or two in case of unforeseen circumstances. This also includes lubricant and other supplies you use to catheterize.

Closed System Catheters

traveling by air with cathetersMany people prefer to use a more advanced catheter while traveling to try and reduce the chance of getting an infection. These catheters do not require lubricant and some are designed to where you don’t even touch the catheter which are called closed system catheters. Some people whose insurance will not cover them often purchase them just for traveling.

Antibacterial Wipes

If you will be catheterizing in the public restrooms it’s a good idea to carry some antibacterial hand wipes, such as wet ones, to wipe off your hands and urethra before catheterizing.

Restroom on Plane

If you are unable to use the restroom on the plane and your flight lasts longer than you can wait to catheterize there are a couple of options you can take.  One option is to use a Foley catheter while traveling. By doing this, you would only need to empty your leg bag if it fills to capacity before you reach your destination.  If it did fill up before landing you could always ask a stewardess for something to empty it into if necessary.  Some people will put a blanket over them and will catheterize in their seat.  


Visit the Transportation Security Administration website for more information and travel tips for carry-ons: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips

Editor's Additional Resources:
Delta's travel information for those with disabilities or wheelchair users
Card Issued for Air Travelers with Disabilities

10 ways to carry catheters discreetly
10 Ways to Carry
Catheters Discreetly 
traveling with catheters
 Traveling With
Catheters



About the Authors:

Bill has worked for 180 Medical for almost ten years in various positions within the company. He works at the 180 Medical corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City, OK. He often speaks to customers about adjusting to life after a spinal cord injury. Read more about Bill here.
   
             


Trish Eklund has worked for 180 Medical for almost three years, as the Nebraska Office Coordinator. She lives in Nebraska, with her husband and daughters. 
   
             
   

180 Medical Shows Support to Urology Professionals in Oklahoma

by admin March 6 2013 15:30

180 Medical is just as passionate about nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals as we are our customers. It is important to us to show our support by participating in conferences, such as SUNA (Society of Urological Nurses and Associates).

Since 1972, SUNA has been advancing urologic nursing practice and patient care. They are dedicated to providing top-quality education programs and networking opportunities to members. SUNA publishes a professional, peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal (Urologic Nursing Journal) and a bi-monthly newsletter (Uro-Gram). SUNA establishes the scope and standards of urologic nursing practice and the scope and standards of advanced urologic nursing practice. SUNA provides scholarships, grants and awards to deserving nurses and other health care professionals. SUNA is a professional organization committed to excellence in evidence-based clinical practice, research, and education of its members, patients, families, and the community.

180 Medical recently had an exhibit at the OSUA (Oklahoma State Urological Association) Annual Meeting that they had in conjunction with the Oklahoma Chapter of SUNA in Tulsa, Oklahoma. OSUA is dedicated to study, discuss, and exchange information, experiences, and ideas in the field of urology and to engender a high quality of urological education for urologic nurses and allied health professionals. One of our Urologic Territory Managers, Michael Pampalone, represented 180 Medical while exhibiting at the meeting.

It is of the utmost importance to 180 Medical to support the community, education regarding urological research, practices, and services. SUNA and OSUA are wonderful resources to the community and we are proud to have been a part of the conference.




About the Author:

Trish has worked for 180 Medical for almost three years as the Nebraska Office Coordinator. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and daughters.
    

                           

Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month

by kier September 1 2011 09:00


Breaking the Silence For IC!

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a painful condition due to inflammation of the tissues of the bladder wall. The cause is unknown and often the condition is diagnosed as a urinary tract infection.  Three to eight million women and one to four million men in the US suffer from the effects of this chronic pelvic pain disorder. 

Symptoms include urinary frequency (up to 60 times a day in severe cases), urinary urgency, and pain. 

Some ways to help reduce bladder discomfort is to try and remove foods which are high in acid, alcohol, or salt from your diet that may trigger severe bladder irritation and discomfort. 

Support groups are located all around the country, here is a good list to find one in your area.

September 2011 has been named Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month.  For more information on interstitial cystitis please visit http://www.ichelp.org/ or http://www.ic-network.com/.

180 Medical helps people with their urologic catheters with this condition every day. If you have IC and need urologic catheters, call us today to see how we can help you.