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Flying with an insulin pump

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Colin L, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Colin L

    Colin L · Newbie

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    We are being very brave :) and going on a long haul flight in August with our 10 year old son who has T1.

    He is on an insulin pump and I just wanted to know if anybody had any experience of this, and how security were with the pump, insulin, lucozade etc (presumably with the Lucozade, it's subject to the 100ml rule?).

    Any advice would be very welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  2. katto

    katto · Well-Known Member

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    If flying I take hypo gel and or sweets rather than lucozade. I don't have a pump so can't really offer much advice apart from perhaps getting a letter or note from your doctor in case you do get questions.


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  3. Colin L

    Colin L · Newbie

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    Thanks Katto - definitely thinking Jelly Babies and sweets too, although we know how he reacts to a quick swig of Lucozade, so would be more comfortable with this to treat a hypo, although we do have some time to get used to other treatments.
     
  4. katto

    katto · Well-Known Member

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    Ahh i see...lucozade is my usual hypo stopper of choice too but just thought...The other thing is that you can usually just buy lucozade once you have gone through security?


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  5. MattyK

    MattyK · Well-Known Member

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    I got stopped at every security point on a recent business trip. I had a letter from the hospital explaining everything, which helped!
    Security wanted me yo put my pump in the X-ray scanner, DO NOT go this as it will damage the pump, no matter what they say!


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  6. Julie1471

    Julie1471 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Airport security won't let you go through with lucozade, had a sim prob when flying to Turkey through Gatwick, they wanted to take it away and get me to buy another from Boots once through the checks, big problem was Boots opened at 6.30am, my flight took of at 5.30. Had to speak to a supervisor and they allowed it through. Also the person with the pump can't go through the metal detector or xrayas it messes the pump up, they have to be patted or wanded down, so not to mess with the pump.
     
  7. Lyndesay

    Lyndesay · Well-Known Member

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    You could try Glucogel instead of Lucozade. It comes in a tiny bottle which is handy for travelling. A letter from your GP or Diabetic Nurse is a must, saves alot of hassle. Also damage can occur to the pump if taken off so notify a member of staff when you get there and have your letter at hand. I was also asked if I had other identification and I showed them my insulin pump bracelet. Overall it should take maybe 5 or 10 minutes extra for checks but plan for extra time as not all staff members can be helpful!

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  8. Finzi

    Finzi · Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if this would work so don't take it as gospel, but given the issue is the size of the bottle ie you are only allowed bottles of 100ml, would it not be possible to take a number of little bottles, with 100ml of lucozade decanted into each one? Or is there a limit as to how many bottles you are allowed (even if each one is only 100ml)
     
  9. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    There's no problem going through the ordinary metal detector with a pump. Mine (a Medtronic) doesn't even set the alarm off as there is only a tiny bit of metal in the clip. Nevertheless I've always told them I have a pump before I go through it.
    You shouldn't take it off and put it on the conveyor belt as that has x rays, nor should you use wear it in a body scanner.

    (from the Medtronic airport info card http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/lifestyle/travel , check the website for your pump as it probably has a similar card)

    I haven't had any problems when flying, nor has anyone asked to see my letter or prescriptions, I'm always totally upfront about carrying needles/cannulas etc. Unfortunately, I have read of people who have had some difficulties when flying from airports in the UK that have body scanners. I think if I were travelling from one of those airports I would contact the security services there before I travelled.
     
  10. Dougal

    Dougal Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You will not be able to take a lucozade bottle through security, but will be able to buy one after security if this is more convenient. Another thing to look at is the time difference - when we went I asked for advice and my doctors and DSN said to adjust the time to the destination once you land, but talking to people on this forum and UK-Pumpers those with experience said to change the time as soon as you can. This worked well for me.

    I'm sure everything will be fine. :D
     
  11. Riri

    Riri Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    For travelling, the small glucojuice bottles are ideal and they act really fast - quicker than lucozade for me. Amazon sell them in boxes of 12 - they're not cheap but at least they keep and they are brilliant for handbags and travel etc. I'm never without mine as they are the one thing that seems to bring my blood sugars fastest.

    Have a look under the insulin pump topic as well - quite handy posts on this discussion in there too. :thumbup:
     
  12. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Glucojuices really nice too, and because they are measured in small exact containers, there is not a chance of taking an extra mouthful 'just incase' which can send us too high.

    I started to go low in hospital A&E and the nurses had moved my bag so far away from me I couldnt get to it, and I wasnt allowed to move. The nurse brought me glucojuice and it was really good.
     
  13. Riri

    Riri Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    All hospitals in Wales now carry hypo response packs and they all have bottles of glucojuice as the first line hypo treatment. This was partly due to the tragedy in my local hosp where an elderly T1 man died having not been treated correctly after suffering a hypo. They've been frantically overhauling their diabetes education for doctors and nurses and glucojuice, as donnellydogs says, is a measured amount of very fast acting glucose which is why it's favoured over other previous treatments - like a ham sandwich!!!! Yes this is what they offered me when I last had a hypo in there a few years ago. Luckily I had my own supplies to hand.
     
  14. Type1Jim

    Type1Jim · Well-Known Member

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    Hi... I have traveled extensively with a pump (austrailia, cambodia, thailand, US & europe etc). Make sure you get letters from your GP or DSN and also the pump company to say you are diabetic and have a pump device. Medtronic offer a spare holiday pump to take with you but not sure about other companies. Most places understand. When in cambodia I carried a translated letter with me too. I use running gels instead of hypo stop as they are nicer to eat.
     
  15. cknmonster

    cknmonster · Member

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    You need to get a written statement from consultant stating that your child has a pump. They are not allowed through the scanners so they have to be hand searched.
     
  16. Jelly Beans

    Jelly Beans · Member

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    Hi Colin!

    I'm not intending on putting you off whatsoever - but this is simply my experience.

    I'm on a Medtronic insulin pump, Paradigm Veo, and last year travelled to Florida for two weeks. Beforehand we'd gathered everything you could possibly need, the list being:

    - Airport Security Card from Medtronic (type that in on google and it's the first download, it basically says what to do in an emergency and written proof you cannot travel through x ray machines).
    - Letter from doctor noting medical supplies and what I take for my diabetes
    - Travel insurance letter with written proof that diabetes is covered
    - Spare prescription
    - 2 month's supplies (in case some get damaged, lost, although it stayed with me the whole time)

    We were flying Monarch from Manchester airport. Although Monarch were fine, and in fact extremely helpful in offering help with anything I needed (drinks, etc) Manchester were dire. I told the security that I would set off a metal detector, and could not travel through the x ray machine - I said I could be searched, swabbed, anything, but they insisted I would not be able to fly unless me and my insulin pump went through the x ray machine. Stupidly enough, I agreed to go through.

    A week later a button error occurred and we were thousands of miles away from home trying to sort out this emergency. Everything we had then came into use. Like everyone else has said, DO NOT WHATSOEVER LET THE PUMP GO NEAR AN X RAY MACHINE. The actual flight went fine - I would take glucose tablets, they have no problem, and get something on the plane if he really dislikes the taste of them (like I do). I had no other problems, especially in America.

    I recommend setting the pump time to the time of your destination as soon as possible. Plan to eat as if you are already in your destination's time zone - I quickly adjusted and although difficult, just monitor blood sugars and be careful what he has (the planes are very tempting for various crisps and snacks). I find the long haul meals are very low carb, try not to over bolus for them.

    Of course, also consider what stress and tiredness does to his sugars - but travelling with diabetes doesn't have to be difficult. Just don't make the mistakes I did!

    I hope this helped :)
     
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  17. joe1980

    joe1980 · Newbie

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    Hi,
    Once you get into the departure lounge, you can purchase lucozade which you can take on the flight, any other before, they take, so i have always dispossed of mine at check in, within minutes your in departure lounge, i also carry sachets of sugar which are also very fast, and are not taken from you,
    I dont use a pump, but have flown a lot of times and have carried my insulins throwe, i always carry my id card and have an up to date doctors note , stating im insulin dependant, ive had type 1 since i was ten, and now 45, hence why ive been lucky enough to have flown a lot of times, also i carry a glucogen as a back up, hope this helps jo
     
  18. whitwamj53

    whitwamj53 · Newbie

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    I have flown/travelled three times now with my Insulin Pump. I have a letter from the Diabetic Nurse about the Insulin Pump and also a letter from the Doctors stating what I carry in the form of pills I require.
    At security, inform security that the young one is fitted with the Insulin Pump and it is not to be removed. They should let him go through the body scanner with it on, this is not a Xray machine. I assume you carry emergency insulin just in case the Pump breaks down, put all the insulin files into the see through bag and explain what they are, I've never had a problem. As for Lucozade, this would probably be taken off you at security, and, as someone already said, you can buy them at the other side. I carry about five packs of Gluco Tabs, glucose energy tablets, dissolve very quickly, or can be chewed. 4g per tablet, 10 in a tube. Buy from Boots, Sainsbury or Asda. I get mine from my chemist. Web site for these http://www.bbihealthcare.com. Carry as many as you want on the plane.
     
  19. weeezer

    weeezer · Well-Known Member

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    Apparently the meter for the accu-chek combo shouldn't go thru the X-ray conveyer thingamy, am I right? Do you have to carry it instead anyone know? (I flew last nov, walked thru the metal detector wearing pump, but my meter was in handbag and went thru X-ray, but my mum, who got her pump yest, said Roche rep said accu-chek meter shouldn't go through X-ray)


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  20. MattyK

    MattyK · Well-Known Member

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    That is right Weeezer, it will damage it if you put it in the scanner. When I last travelled, all airport staff were fine after I showed my dr's note.
    Some of the foreign inspectors were a little less well versed in why it couldn't go in the scanner, but on the whole all ok!


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