Traveling is exhausting for everyone, let alone while managing a PICC line and IV medication. Thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act, all flights to and from the USA are required to provide certain free accommodations to people with disabilities and medical conditions. Here are six tips for traveling with a PICC line to help you make it through TSA and beyond!
1. If you 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
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. Making a chart with the supplies you will need for each day will make packing much easier, and ensures that you will not forget anything! If you need tips on how to keep track of your medications, check out this post!
|Day||Saline||Heparin||IV Bag||Alcohol Prep Pad|
3. Start your infusion right before you go through TSA security
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!
5. Ask the stewardess to store your carry-on for you
Medical carry-ons can be heavy. Ask a stewardess or a fellow passenger to help you store your bags 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: All of the above tips are based on my personal experiences.
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