What is a Travel CPAP Machine?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2019
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A travel continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is a CPAP machine which has been specifically designed for use by travelers. Some people rely on the same CPAP machine at home or on trips, while others like to have a travel CPAP machine for times when they need to travel and want to make sure that they have access to their CPAP machines. These devices are sold through medical equipment suppliers, along with accessories such as face masks, replacement filters, and so forth.

Several concerns are addressed in the design of a medical device meant to be used by travelers. The first is size. A travel CPAP machine is typically small and as light as possible, so that it is easy to transport. It may come with its own carrying case to protect it from damage, with compartments to store accessories so that all of the CPAP supplies are in one place, reducing the risk of loss.

A travel CPAP machine can also include a humidifier or humidifier attachment, if this is needed. It may come with a plug adapter and transformer, in the event that it will be needed in an area where power supplies and plugs are different. Other designs include backup power in the form of batteries to power the device during a power outage or in an area without electricity, and some come with solar panels which can be used to generate power which can be stored in batteries.


By law, the use of medical devices on aircraft is protected. This means that someone with a travel CPAP machine and a prescription for a CPAP machine must be allowed to bring the device onto a plane. Most airlines accept CPAP machines as carry ons, and will not include the CPAP device in a passenger's carry on allowance. However, there can be problems at security screening which make it important to show up early with the device to give screeners time to investigate it. People may be asked what the device is for, asked to produce a doctor's note, asked to demonstrate the machine, or asked to submit the travel CPAP to testing for bomb residue.

Patients should make sure to bring their manuals along with their travel CPAP machines, in case they need to made adjustments or to reprogram the machine. It's also important to be familiar with the settings so that if the settings are changed by accident, they can be reset to the appropriate point.


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