The Ultimate Guide to Flying with TPN Series Part 2: How to Pack
While I work hard to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information at the time of publishing, as time passes some information may no longer be relevant or accurate. The field of medicine is a constantly evolving science and art. Thankfully! In 1951 a woman was given a lobotomy to treat her ulcerative colitis. That wasn't even that long ago!
Hi-dee-ho! Welcome to part 2 of the Ultimate Guide to Flying with TPN series. Today’s post is all about how I pack my Total Parenteral Nutrition for air travel.
I use 2 carry-on size suitcases when I travel with TPN. One holds all of my medical supplies and the other is where I pack my TPN. If you’re on TPN I’m sure you know how heavy it can get when you’re trying to move several bags and ice packs at once. It’s friken heavy so a suitcase on wheels is a must for me. A rolling cooler is another option. You can see the one I used a few years back here.
As long as your luggage fits in the overhead compartment of the airplane you can bring it on board at no extra charge and it will not count toward your carry-on limit. I prefer to take it onto the plane myself instead of checking it with the potential of loss or damage.
FlexiFreeze comes in sheets and you can cut them to different sizes. They are also flexible which helps line all sides of the luggage with ice. The Cooler Shock packs are great quality; they can last 24-48 hours. Both kinds can be used over and over again.
I keep my doctors note for travel in a Ziploc bag to protect it from moisture and then place it in the outside zipper of the luggage so that it is handy in case I need it (which I never have).
That is pretty much all there is to it when it comes to how I pack my TPN for flying. The fact that the luggage rolls and fits into the plane are the most valuable things to me because it would be heavy otherwise and too much for me to handle and I don’t have to worry about it getting lost or damaged.
Packing Medical Supplies
One of the most important things when it comes to travel with TPN is that you make sure you have checked and double checked that you have everything with you. It’s not a good idea to wait until the last minute to write your packing list because you’re more likely to forget something if you are rushing.
Instead of throwing everything loosely into my luggage and then digging through it every day of my vacation to find what I need, I make TPN “kits.” I put everything that I need for one infusion into a large Ziploc and label it with each day of my vacation. I also make kits for my port so that if it needs to be changed while I am away everything will be easy to find because it’s all in one kit.
I won’t go over every single thing I pack but I will mention some of the things you may not have thought about in case it helps. Click on the images to find these items on Amazon. See disclosure at the bottom for Amazon Affiliate links.
I use to sanitize my airplane seat and the area of my hotel room that I set my TPN up at. This is the same stuff used at the hospital in travel sized packets.
The cap on this makes it my favorite because it doesn't leak during travel like the other ones tend to do.
With a central line it's important to keep track of your temperature. Anything >100.5 warrants a call to your doctor as it could be the start of a line infection.
Suggested to me by my TPN doctors to use for setting up TPN. These are puppy pads which come much cheaper than the pads used in the hospital and work just as well.
That about covers how I pack my TPN for flying. Continue on to post #3 to learn about what happens at the airport when you travel with IV nutrition.
This post was edited on 9/23/2019 for appearance, grammar, and clarity, as I transfer my site from Tumblr to WordPress and rebrand Inflamed & Untamed.
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