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Heathrow and the Pump interrogations and scaners and xray machines!!!!!

Discussion in 'Insulin Pump Forum' started by .gurley, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. michelejane

    michelejane Type 1 · Active Member

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    I use an Insight pump (Roche), I don't use pens but I guess I better order some to take as back up. More to do this week!
     
  2. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    Animas provide loaner pumps when travelling.
    Could be worth contacting Roche to find out if they offer the same service.
     
  3. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    They don't, but your hospital might
     
  4. leahkian

    leahkian · Well-Known Member

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    This is a lack of information by the airport and the government, my father is in a wheelchair so i have to take him through the security and the amount of times they have got him to stand up and talk his shoes off gets me angry. Then i tell them about my insulin pump and show them everything. There are consultants letters, doctors letters and a letter off medtronic telling them why i have a spare pump. They asked me to go into a side room i refused, i said ring the consultant up as we are in Newcastle they refused. Then the person in charge came to me but while i was waiting i phoned my consultant up and as he was just about to take me away i put my phone on speaker and my consultant went crazy with them. He told them they had seen the letter and could see the pump was attached to my body. they tried to say they did not know what was in the bottles which got a reply of can you not read. That was it on my way and when we got back to the airport i was stopped oh no not again but to my shock one of the airports managers said they were very sorry about what happened and gave me a £25 voucher, i told them i did not want the voucher just for them to get more information to staff about diabetes. As we were leaving the airport one of my friends heard a mother telling the check in staff that her son had diabetes so i gave him the voucher. When i saw my consultant next he said the airport had been in touch and all the staff had got a pack each on diabetes and pumps.
     
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  5. Celsus

    Celsus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    And what airport is this?
     
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  6. donnieboy

    donnieboy Prefer not to say · Member

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    I am new to pumping but have been advised by Medtronic that metal scanners are OK but the full body scans will damage the pump and may affect insulin. Likewise Xrays. In the US at least, there's no problems I've found asking to go through metal detectors. Once I had the full pat down but was OK.
     
  7. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    so is the full body scanners the ones you walk through and the metal scanner is a hand held device passed over the body....
     
  8. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There are two walk through detectors - the metal archway detector and the full body scanner that you walk into. The metal detector archway is not the issue its the walk into one.
     
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  9. ElyDave

    ElyDave Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I travel through LHR about 3 weeks out of 4 for work.

    My advice - get over it, and carry a letter. You're special and unusual

    I've never been forced through a body scanner, I've always had a pleasant conversation with the security supervisor, the most I've had to wait is about 5 minutes.

    Try getting through the hoops to go offshore, then you'll realise how easy LHR is.

    My worst airport so far - Baku, my best airport so far either Aberdeen or Frankfurt
     
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  10. michelejane

    michelejane Type 1 · Active Member

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    Just got back from a trip to Ottawa from Heathrow, followed by an internal flight from Ottawa to Vancouver and ulimately the flight from Vancouver back to Heathrow. I didn't know what a body scanner looked like - I assumed it was something you had to step into and would have a sign saying what it is, so i was horrified after I walked through security - having first explained I was wearing my insulin pump which must avoid scanning or xrays. When I collected my belongings and went to have coffee, my pump took ages to connect with the handset and wouldn't recognise it. In the end I had to keep turning it on and off, and eventually I was able to do a test, but it was so slow and took a few days to work properly again, so I would NOT go through tthat again.
    Ottawa security had no body scanner, but staff refused to even look at my doctor's letters (I find there's little point taking them any more, it seems to annoy staff). I explained I was also carrying a syringe for emergencies but one woman waved her arms in my face and raised her voice at me, until another woman told her it was ok, after my 'spare kit' pouch was rootled about with, scanned, and so on.
    Vancouver however, was a breeze! they were friendly, seemed to recognise my pump and I was just waved through without even having to remove my belt or shoes.
    It's such a shame it's so rare to have a stress free experience when travelling with a pump.
     
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  11. sprokowski

    sprokowski Type 1 · Member

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    I work at LHR and I travel quite frequently. I don't have a pump but travel with insulin pens, insulin, needles etc. I can honestly say I've never has a problem with the security (both when on duty when you have to go through either a staff security or passenger security or when travelling as a normal passenger). You do get some people who just don't seem to like their jobs but generally they act the same with everyone they encounter. I travel with my friend who has a pacemaker and cant go through the scanners and he just mentions it as no big deal before walking through a side door opened by them and has a pat down and swab (he always has his Drs note in his hand and they usually glance at it but never properly). The same with pregnant colleagues. The security staff encounter people with illness daily and most see it as part of their job to meet us and deal with our additional equipment and baggage. Some people are just plain ignorant though, like those mentioned above but I do think the bigger the fuss and the louder you shout does not help in airport situations. I did however, travel out of terminal 3 for work a couple of weeks ago and was travelling with a cool pouch thing (which I haven't used since flying with my parents when I was younger) I placed it in a plastic bag with the insulin inside and informed the lady (who looked pretty peeved off to begin with) she snapped at me and said 'why is it in a bag then if its not liquid' (? it contained the gelly stuff and insulin?) Before snapping back and correcting her I breathed, and let it go and walked away. The staff at security deal with a lot (I don't work at security and I never have, but I have dealt with airport passengers and I think that does help with my understanding) they are usually stressed out and only have basic understanding of a lot of things medical wise (lucky for them). Maybe sometimes we need to understand that, leave some extra time to clear security and be a little more forgiving when people don't know what we have to deal with to keep us alive. Also, something to think about is that on some flights (which i'm not going to mention destination and airlines) I would say about 30% of the passengers are diabetic, and the security staff will be used to people using the term as an excuse (and I do say excuse because working on check in I have heard it all and have turned around to several passenger and informed them that I am too a diabetic and that does not mean I should get a wheelchair just because of that, an upgrade, priority boarding, excess luggage, a special seat etc)

    :)
     
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  12. SallyEzra

    SallyEzra Type 1 · Active Member

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    Thank you do much to everyone that has contributed to this post.....I have been wearing an insulin pump for over a year & a half & have just been using airport security as normal. I had no idea!. Very fortunately the body scanner machines do not appear to have affected my pump, but clearly they have alarmed & resulted in a full search & swabs etc. Plus, being pregnant, I hadn't even contemplated any impact of body scanners on that. I think the reason that so much of this has passed me by is because when not in work, most of my travel has been taken with my 3 yr old son, so in airport security most of my focus is taken up keeping a handle on whatever he is up to!. Many thanks again, really helpful.
     
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  13. gemma_T1

    gemma_T1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This has happened to me so many times at Newcastle airport ... I dread using it...
     
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  14. yakudueye1

    yakudueye1 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I am travelling September to go to Tanzania through Heathrow and intend to carry a hidden camera on my pen so when I can back to show it and see how uncivilized some get when you show stance
     
  15. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    That is absolutely awful and so very distressing for you.
     
  16. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just inexcusable ignorance.
     
  17. briped

    briped Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I travel from Cph once a month, and have done for at least 10 years. Always just with carry on luggage. It contains one or two victoza pens, and I've never been stopped because of them. Other weird stuff, yes, toothbrush charger, for example. I was advised not to pack it in the corner of my small suitcase, as it might resemble a bomb :rolleyes: Yes, fine, ok. I haven't heeded the advice, and was never stopped because of that again.
    I honestly believe that many of them are enjoying their 8 hours of daily power. Once a foreign female passenger was given a regular telling off for putting perfume on while going through security. The security officer treated her like a naughty schoolgirl and claimed there could be people suffering from perfume allergies. True enough, but right after security everybody has to go through the biggest perfume outlet in Denmark!! To make a quiet point I asked her if there was any way of avoiding that. I hope the other woman heard.
    I've had unpleasant experiences at Heathrow too, but nothing diabetes related. I do dread security anywhere in the world, though. I hope they were treating you courteously at Cph?
     
  18. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It amazes me that you can travel all over Europe with no problem at all, until you try to get back into your own country. I came back from Amsterdam a few days ago, so we had a sniffer dog slobbering all over our bags, and the handler seemed unable to control him. Then we were merged with another flight to go through passport control which only had four people on duty; and, of course, no machine passport readers. I've never encountered this before. It just seems like a shambles. And, needless to say, they found nothing.
     
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  19. briped

    briped Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I should mention that most of them are domestic flights, but that won't make a difference to security, of course.

    It's such a hazzle, isn't it? I've had re-chargable batteries for my camera confiscated at Mumbai. Luckily I was able to talk them into handing them over to my flight crew as they were quite pricey, so I got them back just before landing. At Frankfurt a security officer wanted to confiscate either a pair of tweezers and a nail file. My choice, because I couldn't have both. His imagination must've been a lot wilder than mine, because there seemed to be no end to the havoc such two objects could wreck together. I let him have the nail file. I was left alone, and he was the hero who'd prevented some spectacular attack.
     
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  20. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    One of the biggest issues in relation to insulin pumps and other diabetes technologies in Europe (and the UK in general) is the lack of prevalence of them. When you consider that in the UK, around 10% of T1s have an insulin pump, whereas in the US, it's around 40% of T1s. As a result it's much more likely they have been encountered at security in countries where they are more common. That has quite a large part to play in familiarity.

    And if you think a pump is fun, try a small blue box of electronics that doesn't have any branding and you tell them is your artificial pancreas!
     
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