Travelling can be difficult, especially when travelling with medical equipment such as an enteral feeding pump. A little bit of planning ahead can make the entire process much simpler. Several online resources are available that will help as you plan for your upcoming trip.
The Oley Foundation has put together a great resource preparing for security screening through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airports. This guide titled “Screening for Passengers with Meidcal Devices (ie, Catheters, Tubes, and Ports) can be found at https://oley.org/page/Travel_Med_Devices. Some of the tips include:
- Contact the TSA Cares helpline at (855) 787-2227 72 hours prior to travelling to let them know you will be travelling with medical equipment.
- Complete a TSA notication card to inform them of any disability, medical condition, or device that could affect security screening. These cards can be found here.
- Arrive early and allow plenty of time to complete the security screening.
- Indicate where the device and/or medication is located before the screen process begins.
- Communicate with the TSA agent to determine appropriate screening procedure.
- Your enteral feeding pump will have to be removed from a carry pack to undergo security screening.
- If you have concerns about this screening process, ask to speak with a supervisor while at the security checkpoint.
For more information, you may also contact the TSA Contact Center (866) 289-9673.
Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation
The Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation has also created a comprehensive list of tips, packing lists, various regulations, and things to consider prior to travelling. This guide can be found at .https://www.feedingtubeawareness.org/navigating-life/on-the-go/traveling/.
This guide covers what to do before the trip such as talking to your doctor, creating an emergency plan, talking to your homecare, and contacting airline/train 72 hours in advance. It also provides a general list of things that you’ll want to pack for a trip with someone who has a feeding tube. Items such as the pump, backpack, sets, charger (the number one forgotten item!), gravity bags, adapters, flushing syringes, venting supplies, sterile water, formula, medications, rube replacement kits, tape, gauze, and more!
The guide also provides practical tips on navigating the various regulations surrounding air and train travel, and what you can do ahead of time to plan accordingly.