Sleep apnea

Easier traveling with your CPAP


By Reyna Gobel


Positive airway pressure (PAP) sleep therapy machine users have unique issues when it comes to packing and traveling. Specifically, they must deal with two problems: securing their PAP and accessories securely in their luggage and then unpacking and repacking their PAP when going through airport security checkpoints operated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).


According to the TSA's guidelines for traveling with PAP machines, the main part of the PAP machine must be removed from luggage at security checkpoints. However, face masks and tubing can remain in luggage. The PAP machine can be stored in a protective clear plastic bag for x-ray screening, but a TSA officer may need to remove it to test for traces of explosives, the guidelines noted.


When considering what luggage to use, look for compartments to keep your PAP separate from other items. Because you’ll need to remove it, you want to make sure it’s both easily accessible and easily returnable to an area with enough padding to protect your machine during travel. If you’re buying new luggage, bring your machine with you so you can make sure your PAP fits securely, there’s room for accessories, and it’s accessible for security screening.


One option for luggage is the Phillips Respironics PAP travel briefcase. It’s a black hybrid PAP carrier/laptop bag and has a compartment for PAP sleep therapy equipment as well as all accessories. To make full use of carry on limits set by airlines, the luggage also contains a large, separate laptop area that holds a laptop, laptop accessories and small travel items. The laptop and PAP sleep therapy equipment sections of the bag are attached by a center zipper that opens fully, so users have the option of using the bag to carry their PAP equipment without the laptop portion.


Since the dimensions of the PAP travel briefcase luggage is 22 inches wide by 14 inches high by 9 inches deep, it fits on top of rolling luggage. It is available from medical providers.


Whatever luggage you pick, be prepared to remove your PAP easily. You’ll zip through security and onward to a good night’s sleep.

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