Going through Airport Security with a CPAP device

Posted on: December 11th, 2015 by JayHawkPharmacyBlogger


For many of us, the holiday season is a time when we cheat on our diets and budgets, or at least give both a little bit of wiggle room. But, just because you’re cheating in one area doesn’t mean you can cheat in another, especially when it comes to CPAP compliance.

Many people stop being compliant around the holidays because they don’t want to take their CPAP with them when they travel. However, that’s exactly the time of year when you need to be using your machine the most—after all, you want to be awake and alert, both while during your travels and when you’re interacting with your family.

If you’re traveling via airplane, your CPAP machine might make the TSA examine you a little bit closer. Here are three things to keep in mind when going through airport security:

  • Remove the CPAP machine from its case


You can keep the CPAP tubes, CPAP masks and other CPAP supplies in your bag, but the CPAP machine itself will need to be X-rayed by itself in its own separate bin. It’s a lot like taking a laptop on-board. If you’re worried about germs, you can also place the CPAP machine in a clear plastic bag so it doesn’t touch the bin’s surface.


  • Pack the CPAP in your carry-on


We know that CPAP machines can be bulky sometimes (especially if you haven’t purchased a travel CPAP yet), but there’s always the chance that your luggage can be lost, and then you really won’t be able to remain compliant! You also don’t want the CPAP machine accidentally damaged.


  • Prepare for an ETD test on your CPAP


There is always the chance that your CPAP device will need to go through the ETD, or explosive Trace Detection test before they let you through. This test is typically done when the TSA isn’t able to get a clear X-ray image. A TSA official will run a white swab over the surface of your CPAP device to check for trace amounts of explosives. Again, if you are worried about germs, you can request that fresh gloves and swabs be used.


Remember, airport security officials have seen CPAP machines before, so you probably won’t have to explain what your CPAP device is. If you are still traveling with a full-sized CPAP machine, contact us today about buying a travel CPAP machine. It will make life a lot easier!


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