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FAQ25: What about commercial flying after a laryngectomy?  Any Concerns?
by David Blevins


The biggest problem we seem to have in flying is the dryness of the air in the cabin. But wearing an HME, or a foam or cloth cover which you dampen with a little squirt bottle should be all you need to boost your humidity. That HME or damped cloth cover will also help protect you from being in close proximity with lots of people and their germs. When I am out in public and opening doors, etc., I also wash my hands frequently so as not to convey germs to my stoma, nose or mouth.

It is also a good idea to bring with you the orange card identifying you as a lary. And I always have my medic alert bracelet on (you can get one free from Inhealth). Some larys will give one of the orange cards to an airline attendant to explain what to do in an emergency. Some have also prepared a short written description for the attendant of their being a lary and that this means you would need oxygen to the neck and not nose and mouth.

I don't know if the story below was a joke or not, but doing the above would help with this problem:

"The airplane lost cabin pressure and the oxygen masks dropped down. The lary put his over his stoma. The attendant told him that he must wear it over his nose and mouth. The lary's wife replied, "but he's a laryngectomee!" The attendant said, "I don't care what his religion is, he has to wear it on his face like everyone else!"

Happy flying
; )o

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