Chiropractic Healing Works

Chiropractic Healing Works

Oxygen Needs And Medical Flights - What You Need To Know

by Charlie Berry

If you need to arrange a surgical operation outside of your state, then you have some options when it comes to transportation. While ambulances are sometimes utilized, they are not always appropriate if you need to travel hundreds of miles away. If you must travel a long distance, then a medical flight may be best. If you are currently using oxygen though, then you may not be able to take the oxygen tank with you. Learn why this is the case and also how the medical personnel will accommodate you.

Why Are Oxygen Tanks A Concern?

If you are currently using an oxygen tank to supplement the amount of oxygen your lungs are able to pull in, then you may know that you cannot bring your own oxygen tank on board a regular flight. The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits this. While some larger airlines can provide the oxygen for you, many do not offer this service. In general, airlines do not want additional oxygen tanks on flights due to liability and safety issues.

Oxygen tanks present fire risks that are a real concern on flights. The pure oxygen from the tank burns quicker and hotter than other gasses. Oxygen also reacts with certain materials in a way that they can spontaneously combust. This is the case if the oxygen comes into contact with grease and oil.

While the oxygen tank itself does not impose an inherent risk, fires can occur if the tank causes an air oxygen enrichment situation. Oxygen enrichment describes the increase in the amount of oxygen that is present in the air. Enrichment occurs when the oxygen tank leaks through the canister or a hose. Also, the operation of an oxygen tank in a pressure changing environment can increase the hazards of the oxygen. 

Since medical flights like Angel-Flights are arranged for health purposes, the flight service will try to limit the use of oxygen tanks in accordance with FAA concerns and considerations to keep you and the crew safe.

What Will A Medical Flight Do If You Need Oxygen?

If you need oxygen, then the medical flight can arrange for the placement and usage of oxygen tanks on the airplane. This can happen if there is truly a need, and the tanks will be ones that are approved by the FAA. This will mean that the tanks will be inspected for defects before they are placed on the plane. This will take time though, and arrangements will need to be made several days in advance so the inspection can occur. If you need to schedule your flight quickly, like in the case of an organ transplant, then this may not be possible. 

In most situations, oxygen tanks will not be needed though. Oxygen concentrators will be utilized instead. Oxygen concentrators are electric devices that pull in air from the cabin of the airplane and compress it. Nitrogen is removed from the air and oxygen levels are in turn boosted. The oxygen rich air is then forced through a cannula that can be placed underneath your nose. 

Oxygen concentrators deliver oxygen levels that are almost as high as an oxygen tank. This is one reason why they are utilized instead of an oxygen tank in situations where the tanks may be dangerous. If the concentrator is used, then the medical flight crew will work closely with you to monitor your blood oxygen levels to make sure that saturation is high. Typically, a pulse oximeter is used to continuously monitor the oxygen saturation of your blood. If saturation is low, then the concentrator device may need to be adjusted. The device does have different settings, like an oxygen tank, that can deliver more oxygen to your body. 


About Me

Chiropractic Healing Works

I used to be skeptical about chiropractic healing. However, that was before I tried it for myself. I was in an accident that did serious damage to my back. I followed all of the doctor’s recommendations, did my physical therapy, and still didn’t feel any better. That was when I finally decided to try going to my friend’s chiropractor. It was such a relief when I finally started to feel better thanks to the great chiropractic care I received. That’s when I decided to start researching chiropractic care and how it could be used to treat different conditions. This blog contains the results of that research. If you’re looking for a way to feel better, you too may benefit from chiropractic healing. These articles will help you learn how.