Holiday Travel with Medications and Medical Supplies

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Healthy Travel Tips: How to Travel with Your Medications and Medical Supplies

Has your budget finally allowed you to travel for a little holiday R&R? Excellent! But before you head to the airport, make sure you’re well prepared for security checkpoints—especially if you have medical supplies or medications that must be with you at all times. Follow the simple suggestions below and avoid any snags on your way to a stress-free vacation.  Bon Voyage!

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows any disability related devices and aids through security after proper screening.  For example, prescription liquid medications and other over-the-counter liquids such as eye drops and saline solutions for medical purposes are allowed.  Also, other liquids including water, juice or liquid nutrition for a medical condition can be brought with you on the plane.  It is important to keep in mind that these liquid medications should be smaller than 3.4 ounces (100 mL).  If they are larger than 3.4 ounces (100mL) each, then they must be declared to the Transportation Security Officer (TSO).  This declaration can be made verbally, in writing or by a traveler’s caregiver, interpreter or a family member.  The TSO will be able to provide you with further instructions if necessary.

 

Disability-related items permitted through the security checkpoint include:

Walking Devices

  • Wheelchairs
  • Tools for wheelchair disassembly/reassembly
  • Scooters
  • Crutches
  • Canes, walkers
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Tools for prosthetic devices
  • Casts
  • Support braces
  • Service animals
  • Orthopedic shoes

Hearing Devices

  • Hearing aids
    • Cochlear implants

Breathing Devices

  • Baby apnea monitors
  • CPAP machines & respirators
  • Personal supplemental oxygen
  • CO2 personal oxygen concentrators

Other

  • Medications and associated supplies
  • Braille note takers
  • Slate and stylus
  • Exterior medical devices
  • Assistive/adaptive equipment
  • Augmentation devices
  • All diabetes related medication, equipment, and supplies
  • Any other disability-related equipment and associated supplies
    • Ostomy supplies

 

Medications

All medications, including injectable and homeopathic, as well as medical supplies such as syringes, sharps disposal container, pre-loaded syringes, jet injectors, pens, infusers are allowed through the security checkpoint once properly screened.  The medications are not required to be labeled and can be in daily dosage containers after they are screened.  The screening process can be either through the X-ray or visually by an inspector if desired.  If you wish for your medications and associated supplies (i.e. glucometer) to be visually inspected, it must be verbally expressed to the TSO.  In an effort to prevent any damage or desterilization of medications and associated supplies, you will be asked to handle and repack all of your medications and supplies.  If the medications or supplies cannot be cleared visually, you will be asked to submit it for X-ray screening.  If refused, you will be denied to enter with your medications and associated supplies beyond the security check point.

 

For more information please visit: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/index.shtm .  Have a safe and enjoyable trip!

Prepared by 2010 PharmD Candidates: JiEun Kim and Benjamin Love

Edited by: Jenny A. Van Amburgh, PharmD, CDE and Robyn N. White, PharmD, CDE

Reference

Transportation Security Administration.  Hidden Disabilities: Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions.  Available at: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/editorial_1374.shtm#4.  Accessed January 31 2010.

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