FAQ: CPAP Travel

CPAP Travel

Can I operate my CPAP machine with a battery?
Yes. CPAP machines can operate with batteries, ResMed needs an inverter or converter.The converters allow you to operate your device from a 12V or 24V DC power source in a car, boat or other vehicle equipped with a suitable battery.

What is a converter?
A converter “converts” the voltage from one value to another. It usually refers to a DC to DC process where a higher or lower voltage is required.
The converters allow you to operate your CPAP device from a 12V or 24V DC power source in a car, boat or other vehicle equipped with a suitable battery.
We can help you choose the correct converter for your CPAP device.

What is an inverter?
An inverter is a device that turns a low voltage direct current into a mains level alternating current (DC to AC).
Inverters are available and should be capable of supplying voltage in the 100-300V range and should be of sufficient capacity.
We can help you choose a suitable inverter for your CPAP device.

Can I use my CPAP machine in other countries?
All CPAP systems have a power supply that automatically adjusts to the various power supplies in different parts of the world. All devices will accept 100-240V, 50-60Hz, without any special adjustment. Please note: you will need to use the correct plug adapter for the power outlet of the country you are visiting.

Can I use my CPAP machine in-flight on a commercial airline?
When CPAP treatment is needed in-flight, please contact the airline at least two weeks prior to traveling to allow airline reservations personnel to obtain approval from the airline’s Medical Services department and check whether any special requirements or restrictions apply. Follow these recommended preparations:

  • Carry a letter from your doctor certifying your need for CPAP treatment.
  • Obtain approval from the airline's Medical Services for use on the flight.
  • Carry a copy of the approval letter from the airline (if they provide one).
  • Carry a copy of manufacturer’s statement of FAA compliance letter for CPAP devices.
  • Carry a copy of manufacturer's travel letter for assistance in carrying your CPAP device through security and on the aircraft.
  • Arrange seating close to a power source on the aircraft.
  • Confirm the type of power cord or adapter required by the aircraft.
Please note that many CPAP devices do not carry a label indicating their FAA approved status. Nevertheless, the devices indicated in the FAA compliance letter have successfully completed FAA testing as required for in-flight use. Final approval for in-flight usage, however, lies with the individual airline carrier.
Note: Humidifiers should not be used with CPAP devices during travel, due to the increased possibility of spilling water into the tubing or into the machine.
For further questions regarding travel with CPAP, please contact us.

Will I need to have my CPAP machine adjusted if I travel to high altitudes?
Some CPAP up-graded devices such as ResMed S9 Elite will automatically compensate for altitude changes. others may require manual adjustment for altitude changes. Failure to make the adjustment may result in ineffective therapy. Consult your local homecare provider to discuss this if you have any questions.

Will the x-ray scanners at the airport security affect my CPAP machine?
The x-ray scanners will not harm your CPAP device. However, Security may require you to show the medical statement from your physician verifying that you are carrying medical equipment. Make sure this is handy.

Do I need to take my machine with me if I need hospitalization?
If you are having surgery, it is very important that you tell both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist that you are being treated with CPAP. You should also inform the attending physician that you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)