“It’s a production number” is what I usually say when asked how do we travel with Dana. At first, it seemed too much but now, we have gotten used to it. For trach and vent children, it is a must to carry eveything you need to keep the child safe.
By the way, today we went to the Complex Care Clinic to get Dana’s flu shot. Here are the things we usually bring:
- PORTABLE VENT
I have no idea how we are going to go without this.
- DIAPER BAGS
We carry 2 diaper bags everytime we go out. Two bags but contains entirely different items. And you all know that this is because Dana will travel with her vent and we have to make sure that we have back-up supplies even on the go.
Her Pink Diaper bag contains all baby needs (yes i still call her a baby). It has the usual diaper bag contents like wipes, extra garments, medicines and diapers. Then we add the following:
- extra vent circuits
- ambo bag (in the event that the vent malfunctions)
- extra medical supplies (pulse ox probe, syringes, split gauze, hypo tape, HME)
Her Black Diaper backpack contains dana’s other basic needs:
- c-flow pillow (coz dana is unable to lay flat)
- portable oxygen
- back up tracheostomy tubes (current size and a step-down trach)
- extra suction catheter
3. SUCTION MACHINE (portable)
Children with trach and on the vent requires suctioning at most times. There are some who are able to cough out secretions but most kids are not. The suction machine helps maintain patent airways and prevents difficulty of breathing. Unfortunately, these portable machines are so loud that always startle someone when turned on.
- PULSE OXYMETER
We are looking at the numbers to know if the child is breathing efficiently. Oxygen saturation of above 92% is always good.
However, our senses and gut feeling are still the best when it comes to checking our children. Even if the number is right, always look at the child to verify.
- FEEDING PUMP
We don’t take chances because there are times that Dana’s clinic appointment takes forever. So, to make sure that she is adequately nourished, we bring this. It’s like we are eating while waiting.
- PORTABLE OXYGEN TANK
If her sats drop, we turn to this.
7. CAR SEAT
Dana travels 90% by ambulance. Other kids have this prepared in their cars, so it may not count to them. On our case, we bring this all the time because the ambulance prefers putting the carseat on the gurney than Dana laying on the gurney. Dana’s curvature makes it difficult for us to position her in the gurney.
Dana, on all of these, tolerates well the travel whether in an ambulance or our own car. When we go down from our apartment unit using dana’s stroller, we bring these medical devices. Parents of w child with trach and vent shouldn’t go out without these because the safety of the child depends on you and what tools you have to help her.