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Thread: Can you do an IC in flight

  1. #1

    Can you do an IC in flight

    My husband C5 quad..and I are taking our first trip since injury..We are going to Vegas...He has been peeing alot more frequently and I wondered if he has to pee mid flight what do I do. He has never used a condom catheter but could we use one for the flight?

  2. #2
    Excuse my ignorance.... can he IC cath himself at his level? I'm a T-2, so i have no idea. If he can, than he should be able to do it under a blanket with a little help from you (no mile high club stuff here, strictly business) If he can't then a condom catheter with a leg bag is the best way to go. Cut down on his intake of fluids before the trip in case he gets dysreflexic when his bladder is full.

    Good luck and have a great trip,

  3. #3
    This would be safe only if he voids with low pressures...otherwise not cathing could cause him to go into AD. The external will only catch what he leaks. If you don't think you can cath him under a blanket (pretty easy with a self-contained touchless type kit) then you might want to use an indwelling catheter and leg bag just for the flight. I do this with my mother, and her urologist approved this as long as she takes one dose of antibiotic when inserted and another when it is removed. Remember to take another foley and insertion kit to insert for the return home as well. Don't forget you can get stuck on the plane on a runway for a long time, delays when flying are the norm now days, so it may not work to plan on cathing just before and after the flight in the airport. Better to be prepared. We always take enough meds and supplies for at least one extra day just in case we get stuck somewhere.

    By the way, if he is leaking more now he needs to have his bladder re-evaluated and probably should have new urodynamic studies. The leaking may be controlled with medications. Has he attempted self cath using a functional hand splint? I know a number of men at a C5 level who have learned to do this.


  4. #4
    Senior Member kr420am's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Cromwell, CT, USA
    ok I have thought about this many times and have also flown many times. Typically I get connecting flights and try to cath just before leaving and upon arrival, but as SCI nurse said this can be risky. My question is if you are traveling alone, those plane seats are very tight and it would be a little awkward to try to cath under a blanket with some complete stranger almost on your lap and I am sure curious as to what they are doing. I am typically not shy or bashful and have pretty much cathed wherever, whenever, but I must think that some people may find this offensive. Thinking back to my AB days, if I were on a plane and the person next to me was under a blanket doing that I would be a little weirded out. I think for a long trip the indwelling may be the best solution.

    Ride It Like You Stole It!

  5. #5
    Senior Member wheeliegirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    2 blocks away from the Real Housewives of Orange County
    guys have all the luck. :-(

    I'm a female...I go as close as possible to the boarding time, and then when I get off the plane (if there is time before connecting). It's too hard for a woman to do this on a plane - and KR is right about privacy and offending someone. People just don't understand...

    I've gotten dirty looks and comments because I cannot stand up or move my legs for other passengers when they want to get to and from their seats. I find myself apologising profusely. I'm not looking forward to this trip in May.

    I think it's awful how airlines do not make reasonable, comfortable seating available on planes for all passengers, let alone those of us who are "planted" into our seats once we board. Lucky for me I can't feel it if they tromp all over my feet! ha ha

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    North America
    It's definately possible; I fly frequently so I got used to cathing in that tiny washroom. I crawl if I have to, but I wouldn't recomment that style of locomotion.

    I've heard that you can request an aise chair to stay onboard and then wheel to the loo. If nothing else, that give a bit of privacy up there.

    good luck

    - S_S

    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indominatable will." - Gandhi

  7. #7
    While they may have an aisle chair on-board, the cabin attendants are not required to help you with the transfer/lift you so unless you can transfer over an armrest by yourself or have your companion do this without any help, I would not recommend planning on doing it. At a C5 level I assume he cannot help much with a transfer like this, and I have had patients injuried in falls from aisle chairs even with assistance.

    The bathroom is tiny, and there is often no way to close the door (or transfer off the aisle chair) so you may actually be more exposed there.


  8. #8
    Originally posted by kr420am:

    My question is if you are traveling alone, those plane seats are very tight and it would be a little awkward to try to cath under a blanket with some complete stranger almost on your lap and I am sure curious as to what they are doing.
    is it inappropriate to ask the cutie sitting next to you to lend a hand?
    on the serious side, i am with you on this one. i just can not see how can this be done while traveling alone.
    regarding the aisle chair and bathrooms, i will see soon as i will be flying over the atlantic in couple days. i was told that there will be an aisle chair on the plane, and that there is one big bathroom on the plane that can accomodate the chair (and the door can be closed) i will definitely try to minimize my fluid intake, just in case.

  9. #9
    I'm a c6 quad and when I flew by myself, I was able to cath fine with an O'Neill portable catheter in my seat. The tube empties directly into a bag. Just slather on the purell, pull it out and go.

    Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'.

  10. #10
    pop in a foley for the trip

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