How to Pack an LVAD for Travel (Featuring the Thoratec HeartMate II®)Wed, 12/14/2011 - 4:49PM
Travel is something that we at MyLVAD encourage for LVAD recipients and their loved ones. Information on traveling with an LVAD can be difficult to find. Below you will find an instruction sheet that we created on how to pack the HeartMate II®external equipment in a standard sized carry-on bag that will fit in the overhead compartment of a commercial jet airplane.
Step 1: Have available a standard sized wheeled carry on. We purchased this one at a discount store for $29.99. The dimensions of the suitcase are 20inches x 14 inches x7 inches with expanding capability of 2 inches. It has 4 wheels that allow for 360 degree movement of the bag.
Step 2: Prepare the Power Module, Universal Battery Charger, and Display module for transport per manufacturer instructions. This may include removing the internal battery from the Power Module (be sure to consult with your LVAD team prior to performing this step) as well as removing the AC power cords from the devices.
Step 3: Place both power cables and the patient cable in the depressions created on either side of the luggage handles.
Step 4: Place the Universal Battery Charger (UBC) at the bottom of the bag and use the strap to secure it in place.
Step 5: Place the Power Module in the remaining space left in the bag next to the UBC and use the strap to secure it in place. The equipment will fit tightly but it will also ensure that the components will not move.
Step 6: Place the Display Module on top of the Power Module. We chose to place a hand towel in between so that we didn't scratch either piece of equipment.
Step 7: After closing the bag you may place extra batteries, clips, dressing supplies or medications in the outer front pockets.
Your suitcase should never be checked and may be placed in the overhead storage bin. Your back-up bag containing 2nd controller, batteries and clips must stay with you at all times and may be stored in the seat in front of you during your flight.
MyLVAD wishes you safe and healthy travels!