Living Mighty Well

Six Tips for Traveling With A PICC Line

Traveling is exhausting for everyone, let alone managing a PICC line and IV medication. Thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act, all flights to and from the U.S.A. are required to provide certain free accommodations to people with disabilities and medical conditions.  Here are six tips to help you make it through TSA and beyond!

1. If Your Are Traveling By Plane, You Are Allowed A Medical Carry-on

Inform your TSA officers and your airline stewardess that you have a PICC line and IV medication and that you have a medical carry-on. You can even ask to be escorted directly to your gate and ask for assistance with your bag.

The Official Ruling: “Ice packs, freezer packs, gel packs, and other accessories may be presented at the screening checkpoint in a frozen or partially frozen state. These items do not have to accompany medication or liquids to be considered medically necessary. All items, including supplies associated with medically necessary liquids such as IV bags, pumps, and syringes must be screened before they will be permitted into the secure area of the airport.” -TSA

Emily Cali.jpg Doing my IV treatment with my Arlene PICCPerfect Cover during my trip to San Mateo, California.

2. Make a List and Pack ahead of Time

It takes time to prep your medication, count out the necessary supplies PICC line, deciding which PICCPerfect PICC Line Covers to pack and organize everything in your medical carry-on. If you make a chart of the amount of supplies that you will need for each day it will make packing a lot easier and you will be sure not to forget anything. If you need tips on how to keep track of your medications, check out this post

Example:

 

Supplies

     

Day

Saline

Heparin

IV Bag

Alcohol Prep Pad

Monday

4

2

2

4

Tuesday

4

2

2

4

Wednesday

4

2

2

4

Total

12

6

6

12

 

 3. Start Your Infusion Right Before You Go Through TSA Security

This is a little trick I use to draw empathy from the sometimes grouchy TSA agents. Once they can see your PICC line sleeve and an IV pump running, then they are more likely to treat you with the kindness and respect that you deserve. This will often help you jump to the front of the line and gain extra assistance while going through security, which makes the traveling process less stressful.

4. You Can Board Early

All you have to do is tell the check in agent that you have a medical condition once you reach your gate! I usually mention that I have a PICC Line and show them my PICC line sleeve so that they have visual confirmation. They will allow you to board with the “Passengers Who Need Extra Time To Board.” It is that simple!

picc line cover

Doing my IV treatment with my Lee PICCPerfect Cover at the airport. 

5. Ask the Stewardess to Store Your Carry-On For You

Medical carry-ons can be heavy. Ask the stewardess or a fellow passenger to help you store your bags for you in the overhead compartment so that you do not have to lift your heavy bag. With a PICC line, you should not be lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk. Once someone can visibly see your PICC line sleeve or extension tubing, people tend to be more willing to help.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Extra Drinks and Snacks

Running an IV full of powerful medication often leaves a bad taste in your mouth. If you flag down the same stewardess who helped you with your bags beforehand and explain that your medication left a bad taste, they are usually more than willing to sneak you extra drinks and snacks!

 

Note: Tips are based on my personal experiences.

check out our top 5 gifts to give a picc line patient

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