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Thread: Flying Leg Bag !

  1. #1

    Default Flying Leg Bag !

    Hi all,
    I have an ineffective sphincter and urethral stricture due to medical negligence. I am using an adhesive external catheter and leg bag to get out and about. At home and at night I use pads to allow the skin to rest and breath. I am due to go on holiday soon and was wondering if anyone has experience of flying while using a leg bag. Specifically what happens when the cabin air pressure drops, I am worried that the leg bag may leak or worse would it burst? Any advice would be a great help to me.

  2. #2

    Default

    I don't have any peersonal experience but the following seem to reflect a lot of the advice available on the 'net:


    Contact the airline you will be traveling with and ask if the airline requires any special procedures for traveling with a catheter in place. The airline will advise you of the exact procedure you should follow. Ask what you will need to do if you need to empty your bag during the flight. Also ask the airline to note on your reservation that you will be traveling with a catheter in place. This way the flight attendants will know that you may need additional attention.

    Contact your medical supply company and your physician. Let them know that you are traveling via air and ask if there are special instructions for your catheter and bag. Follow any advice provided to you. Ask your physician for a letter stating that you have a catheter and that this is a medical need. Your airline may not require it, but it is good to have on hand.

    Fill your bag with water rather than air for the flight, unless instructed otherwise by your physician or medical supply company. When an airplane flies at high altitude bags fill up with air, and this will also happen with a urinary catheter collection bag. Prevent this by filling the bag with water and then releasing some of the water when the plane is in flight.

    Inform the airline upon checking in if you will need assistance to and from the bathroom during the flight. Airline staff should be notified of this in advance; even if you informed the airline of your needs earlier, repeat this request at check-in.



    I hope this is of some use

  3. #3

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    Thank you dayannight for such a quick reply. Your advice seems to be quite comprehensive. I will follow your instructions and over the next few weeks provide some feedback of my experience which might help others on their “first time” with a leg bag.

  4. #4

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    I have flown a fair amount, so I can try to figure this one out from experiences with potato chip bags and containers of water. Wherever the air pressure is lower, a sealed container of a gas (bag or balloon) will expand to a larger volume since it's getting pushed on less by the surrounding air. A box of 24 assorted potato chip bags will turn into a box stuffed with 24 pillow-looking bags. The whole time, though, the containers of water (plastic bottle, bag like a Camelbak) will be the same. Water's a lot denser than the environment around it, so it's not relying on the surrounding air pressure to push on it and keep it in its container. I hope I got that right.

    That happens noticeably when you go from sea-level to a "cabin altitude" of 6000-8000 feet. Since passenger airplanes are pressurized, they could keep the cabin altitude a lot closer to sea-level but they don't just in case the pressurization fails and the cabin altitude jumps up to real altitude (30,000-35,000 feet). The human body isn't designed for extreme pressure changes (reference the diver's disease called "the bends"). If the plane depressurizes, the oxygen masks will come from the ceiling (don't panic, it doesn't mean you're going to crash, just put yours on and help other people calmly), the flight crew will be scrambling to descend to a real altitude where the oxygen is more available and identify the cause... the water will be fine, the potato chip bags will probably pop, and a lot of people will probably fart soon because the gas in them just got a lot bigger. It's just physics.

    So, even if the plane depressurizes which is very rare, unless you're inflating your legbag with air and not pee, you shouldn't have a problem. :-)

  5. #5

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by whisko View Post
    I have flown a fair amount, so I can try to figure this one out from experiences with potato chip bags and containers of water. Wherever the air pressure is lower, a sealed container of a gas (bag or balloon) will expand to a larger volume since it's getting pushed on less by the surrounding air. A box of 24 assorted potato chip bags will turn into a box stuffed with 24 pillow-looking bags. The whole time, though, the containers of water (plastic bottle, bag like a Camelbak) will be the same. Water's a lot denser than the environment around it, so it's not relying on the surrounding air pressure to push on it and keep it in its container. I hope I got that right.

    That happens noticeably when you go from sea-level to a "cabin altitude" of 6000-8000 feet. Since passenger airplanes are pressurized, they could keep the cabin altitude a lot closer to sea-level but they don't just in case the pressurization fails and the cabin altitude jumps up to real altitude (30,000-35,000 feet). The human body isn't designed for extreme pressure changes (reference the diver's disease called "the bends"). If the plane depressurizes, the oxygen masks will come from the ceiling (don't panic, it doesn't mean you're going to crash, just put yours on and help other people calmly), the flight crew will be scrambling to descend to a real altitude where the oxygen is more available and identify the cause... the water will be fine, the potato chip bags will probably pop, and a lot of people will probably fart soon because the gas in them just got a lot bigger. It's just physics.

    So, even if the plane depressurizes which is very rare, unless you're inflating your legbag with air and not pee, you shouldn't have a problem. :-)
    I have a lot of flights under my belt as well (though for most of them I have not waited for the pilot to put the plane on the ground before deciding to de-plane) and can agree with this. We drink water and then put the empty bottle into our outfit at 13,000ft, by the time we are on the ground, the bottle has been compressed significantly.

    And people do fart as they get to higher altitudes with gas expansion (we call it the smell of fear).

  6. #6

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    I believe that dayannight has given you good technical advice. However, filling your bag with water and then emptying it when the plane reaches cruising altitude sounds like a major hassle to me. Wouldn't it be much easier to just wear a good nappie on the flight?

  7. #7

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    I don't believe it's necessary to add any water to the bag. dayannight states "When an airplane flies at high altitude bags fill up with air", but that's not true; the air that was already in the bag has just started to take up more space. If you ensure your legbag has very little extra air in it, then when it expands it will take up very little extra space.

    AnalogRTO: I miss skydiving! I have jumped 12 times, all solo (except for one-way talk-me-down radio on my shoulder), and had worked up to the point where I had earned 10 seconds of free-fall. Then life got busier and more expensive. I'm hoping to continue my hobby - in a perfect world I would be a weekend skydiving pilot :-)

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you all for good advice.

    Whisko – I had already picked up on the point dayannight made about any air in the system expanding, I think he was trying to ensure that no air would be in the system when he suggests filling the bag with water. However, his comment has given me an idea. As you will know, when the catheter and leg bag are first put in place there will residue air in the system. The idea that I will try out before I fly is, when the leg bag starts to collect water, instead of opening the valve in the usual manner to empty the bag, I will turn the bag upside down and gently open the valve to purge the residue air out of the bag. If this proves to be successful, I intend to do the same immediately prior to boarding.

    Inconinmiss – I have not had much success with pads, having to sit in a wet pad, too many “accidents”, (and the battle with nappy rash), besides its going to be an eight hour travel day. 1 hours to the airport, 2 hours before fight time, 4 hour flight, and at least another hour collecting luggage and getting to the accommodation. I have persevered with the adhesive catheter and leg bag and now I’ve solved all the little problems they don’t tell you about, (or they don’t know because they have never had to use it), I’m quite happy with the results.

    I will let you all know how I’m getting on. Thanks again.

    Regards Bj

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