If you are currently on oxygen throughout the day and are planning to take a trip via air, or traveling to a higher altitude, the physician may order this test to see if your current oxygen liter flow rate is enough. Patients with lung disease may need extra oxygen when flying or traveling at high altitudes. The test has been ordered to see if your oxygen need will increase during these times.
Please wear comfortable clothes for this test. You will have a pulse oximeter placed on your finger, you will also be connected to an EKG machine. You will be asked to breathe through a mask and your oxygen saturations will be monitored throughout the test. You will be also asked to stand up and walk in place to simulate using the lavatory while flying. If your oxygen saturations drop either supplemental oxygen will be added or your current oxygen settings will be increased. Some of the major airlines will actually ask for a physician’s certificate to be completed prior to your flight.
You may start to fell short of breath during the test, but you will be closely watched and given extra oxygen if needed. After the test you will be able to eat, drink and keep your normal routine.
It is your responsibility to arrange for the use of the airline’s oxygen or obtain your own Portable Oxygen Concentrator. Please contact your current oxygen supplier. If you currently do not have oxygen the Respiratory Department will obtain a company that will provide the equipment for your travel. It is also your responsibility to make arrangements with your current oxygen company to provide the necessary equipment at your arrival destination. Airline companies will request a letter of medical necessity or a physician’s certificate prior to flying. Please make sure you give the Respiratory Department at least two weeks to prepare the necessary letter or paperwork required by the airline you choose. Please check with the airline you choose about their specific requirements. The letter of medical necessity or physician’s certificate is good for only one year. The HAST study is only good for one year. Reminder, the insurance companies consider POC’s a luxury item and may not cover the cost of the rental.