For Urology Awareness week, we want to share 5 tips for people with a spinal cord injury when they are travelling by plane.

  • It’s good to bring catheters in your hand luggage and your checked baggage so you’re covered for all eventualities. Don’t forget to also bring all your medications and a prescription in case they query you during security.
  • Try to organise your bowel routine around your flight and make sure you’ve been to the toilet before you board to drain your catheter. Sometimes it can take longer to board than expected so it’s best to go just beforehand. It’s also worth checking that there will be an aisle chair on the plane too, should you need it.
  • Once you’ve boarded the plane, take on liquids but just be aware of what you’re drinking. Anything that contains caffeine is a diuretic and should be avoided if you’re worried about needing to go to the loo too much
  • You shouldn’t assume that you’ll be able to use the toilet on board so have a plan of action. And even if you can transfer independently, airplane toilets can be tricky to manoeuvre in. One of service users suggests, ‘I like to bring a leg or a night bag with me because often airplane toilets are too small to use.’ An empty bottle can be useful to drain your catheter into and sometimes planes provide a blanket that will allow you to do it discreetly. If you’re a high level injury, you can discuss your plan of action with your PA prior to flying.
  • If you’re going on a long haul flight then it’s advisable to bring a pressure relieving cushion to avoid getting marks. Loose clothing can also help avoid pressure sores.

If you would like discuss your concerns around flying, get in touch with our Outreach & Support team on 020 8875 6723. They can refer you to people who can discuss your catheter requirements and any other questions you may have.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Urology Awareness Week: flying tips for people with a spinal cord injury

  1. I always sit on a Jay inflight and use an indwelling with a tap on it leading to a leg bag. I put a night bag or three in my hand luggage which I ask for out of the locker as soon as we’re airborne so I can drain the leg bag discreetly. Hydrate but not too early in the flight. 9 hr flight no problem.
    It’s also worth asking the senior flight attendant what evacuation procedure applies to you. Probably a fireman’s lift and out the front through 1st Class as that’s where the rafts are, esp long-haul over ocean.
    Take some Immodium if you have concerns.
    Many, most, airlines do fear of flying open days if you want to practice.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s