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Airport Security

Discussion in 'Insulin Pump Forum' started by Krisjan, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Krisjan

    Krisjan · Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I know this has been asked loads of times. But I travel quite a bit, and getting a right pain explaining about the pump to airport security staff. I know the manufactures say you should not go through the body scanners ( the metal detectors are fine) - but really does it damage the pump - has anyone done it.

    I have a animas vibe with dexcom cgm

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    I have a Vibe too. I just show security my doctor's letter, say I'm wearing a pump and point it out, then they go and get someone to pat me down, occasionally wave the rod detector thing over me too, and sometimes swab the pump and my hands.

    I've never gone through the scanner and I wouldn't risk it because it's not worth the hassle or stress.
     
  3. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Why would you risk it, I travel lots by air and its not an issue for me to let the security staff know I have a pump.

    Whether you pass through a full body scanner or a metal detector your pump will set off the alarms, so why not let them know as you approach. I would take my pump off for a body scanner and pass it around the outside then plug it back in the other side.

    I always leave lots of time for security checks - I never get delayed by insulin or pump - its always caused by either forgetting my iPad or my wash kit in my hand luggage and pulling it out of my bag.
     
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  4. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Why have the worry that you've done something that might kill your pump? I find it really depends on the airport. All the British ones I've flown out of have been fine. In fact one of them I didn't declare and didn't beep. The walk through bit is fine, it's the full body scanner you're meant to avoid. I found France took longer as they treated it as a pacemaker and didn't want me walking through the walk through bit.
     
  5. fairylights

    fairylights Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have never declared and have never set off the metal detector. One day I will get randomly picked for the body scanner but until then ...
     
  6. Medusa41

    Medusa41 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I was asked to go through the full body scanner last summer at Gatwick. The Security Officer insisted it would be fine! Whereas Mahon & Basel airports were quite aware of it. The 2nd time out of Gatwick they were fine.
     
  7. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My dexcom transmitter sets off the alarms, also now got two new hips and they certainly make the bells ring :)
     
  8. Krisjan

    Krisjan · Member

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    Hi medusa41, when you had to go through the body scanner, did you take your pump off or leave it on. If you left it on, was you pump ok

    Thanks
     
  9. Minnie45

    Minnie45 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Same thing happened to me :( I understand Gatwick have since updated security staff with the option of a patdown for pump travellers.
     
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  10. Krisjan

    Krisjan · Member

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    Hi Minnie

    Did you go through the body scanner with your pump on, and if so did it affect it
     
  11. Minnie45

    Minnie45 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    No, I refused. It was a horrible situation, 2 security staff reduced me to tears, insisting I went through the scanner and other people with my pump (Medtronic) had been through with no issues, I was made to feel like I was exaggerating and being difficult. I requested a pat down but they kept trying to make me go through the scanner. The supervisor came over and again asked me why I was refusing to go through the scanner, he also made me feel awful. Another member of staff who had taken my spare pump to be swabbed was lovely and tried to smooth things over. I was eventually taken for a pat down by 2 staff, they were also very nice. I was travelling with family who also were upset over how I was treated. I wrote to complain and had a very positive response advising security staff had been rebriefed on how to handle insulin pumps and how I was correct in requesting a pat down.
     
  12. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Minnie45 how horrible!! This is my big worry when travelling. Did you have a hospital letter stating you couldn't be scanned? I bet they don't treat Theresa May like this!!!
     
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  13. Minnie45

    Minnie45 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I had a hospital letter from my pump nurse and my GP, I was all prepared for a pat down and when I was directed to the scan I immediately explained I couldn't and would like a pat down, apparently it was the first day the new scanners were fully operational in the north terminal so they wanted everyone to use their nice shiny new scanners. It wasn't a pleasant experience but I am confident it won't happen again.
     
  14. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I fly nearly every week for work now and expect to do about 150-160 segments (flights) in 2017. That equates to about 100 times through airport security. Note: I live in the USA and fly all domestic so my experiences will differ from most of yours.

    I go through the metal detectors every single time (with my Dexcom G5) and my luggage (which I never check and includes my insulin) always goes through the X-ray machine.

    Honestly, it's not worth asking for special attention to avoid a situation that is astronomically rare....to put that into perspective, there is a Dexcom group on Facebook with 13k people in it and only one person has provided reasonable evidence (but far from proven) to suggest the security equipment caused a failure.

    I guess to me it's kind of like getting Volcano insurance when you don't live near a volcano...it could technically happen but is it really worth it?
     
  15. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That's appalling.
     
  16. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @TorqPenderloin @Minnie45 is not referring to the metal detectors. Body scanners use xray as do the luggage xrays. Insulin manufacturers have no issue with insulin going through xray. Medtronic however says if you put your pump through it may kill it. If you want to run the risk of your pump malfunctioning either by stopping working or dumping all the insulin in the reservoir into you in one go, plus invalidating any right of replacement for malfunction by the manufacturer, that is your choice. Personally I'd rather wait a bit longer each time.
     
  17. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I understand the differences in the security equipment, and I'm also aware of Medtronic and Dexcom's recommendation to avoid body scanners and xray equipment.

    Dexcom also says to replace your sensor every 7 days, but how many people are doing that? It's a lot easier and cheaper for Medtronic and Dexcom to tell you to avoid certain things than for them to perform testing and confirm that it is.

    If you feel more comfortable avoiding the xray equipment, then by all means do so. At the end of last year, this question was raised probably 5 times a day in that facebook group I mentioned above, yet there wasn't a single instance where someone mentioned they had an equipment failure after....what did happen was a ton of people had to engage in extra questioning and screening because the person volunteered the information that they had a pump and/or cgm.
     
  18. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @TorqPenderloin can you help me understand, are you talking about you personally going through body scanners or metal detectors or both with your pump and dexcom ?.
     
  19. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I am talking about two different but related things:

    1.) I go through metal detectors about 75 times a year. I go through body scanners about 25 times a year. Note: I do not wear a pump. Only a Dexcom G5.

    2.) There is a Dexcom Group on Facebook with 13,000 people in it. This question has been asked hundreds of times in that group and no one has ever been able to prove their pump or cgm failed as a result of the body scanners, xray machines, or metal detectors. Only one person in that group has ever provided enough evidence to suggest that their CGM failed as a result of the xray machine.
     
  20. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I do the same, wear my pump and dex through metal detectors and only my dex through the body scanner.

    The question here was about pumps and body scanners not about Dex :)
     
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