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holiday

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Curleous, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Curleous

    Curleous · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all
    am going to majorca in august and was wondering what are the regulations for taking pens needles etc onboard a plane and through airport security etc. I am alos concerned about putting insulin in hold of plane in my luggage in case it freezes. Anyone clued up on all the regulations for flying and diabetics..

    Thanks

    Andy
     
  2. SophiaW

    SophiaW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Get a letter from your doctor saying that you have diabetes and that the insulin is needed for your condition. Don't put the insulin in the luggage hold, it will freeze and render it useless. Keep it in your hand luggage. If you have the letter from your doctor there should be no problem taking it through the airport.

    Take extra supplies incase it gets lost or stolen whilst you are on holiday. When we travelled I kept one set of supplies in my bag and my husband carried another set with him. That way if one was lost we had a backup supply. Make sure you have enough supplies to cover your holiday plus extra incase there is a delay in you returning home (volcanic ash etc).

    The weather is much warmer and you may want to keep your insulin cool. It should not be stored above 25C (I think that's the temp). We used the frio pouches to carry the injection pens in and they worked very well.

    We travelled to Spain and as we don't really speak spanish we carried a card translated into spanish which contained emergency details about Type 1 Diabetes. We also had a few words translated into spanish which we could refer to, words like: hypo, diabetes, sugar, emergency etc.
     
  3. spideog

    spideog · Well-Known Member

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    ^ What they said.

    I've never needed to bother with a letter from a GP or even the boxes that the insulin came in and have never had any trouble getting through security. Important things are to make sure you take plenty more of everything with you, do not put your insulin in the hold (when I've gone on looong trips I've had extra boxes of pen needles in the hold).

    The security will most likely not even notice any of your kit.
     
  4. SophiaW

    SophiaW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    We've never been asked to produce a letter from the GP either but it's better to have one and not be asked than to not have and then someone asks for it. The letter also might prove useful if for some reason you need to get a prescription from the country you're in for whatever reason. Again, we've never need it but it might prove useful so better to be with it than without.

    For anyone travelling with an insulin pump, remember that you must remove the pump and place it in the tray with your keys etc before you walk through the scanner. It should not go through any scanners. I'm not sure about other pump companies but Animas will give you a spare pump to take with you incase your one fails whilst you're on holiday, just remember to make sure it's insured incase of loss or damage.
     
  5. Curleous

    Curleous · Well-Known Member

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  6. spideog

    spideog · Well-Known Member

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    They will be OK through the regular metal detectors (the arch that you walk through and beeps), and also they xray scanner that your carry on bags will go through. The xray scanner for your bags is doing more than the arch, but they are both fine for anything to go through unless you've got some old photographic film camera.

    It's the new fancy naked body scanners that the pumps cannot go in. If I encounter one of them I'll just refuse to take the pump off and they can check me by other means without the need for taking naked pictures.
     
  7. spideog

    spideog · Well-Known Member

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    Of course when I say it's OK through the metal detector arch I just mean that it won't be damaged, you would still beep though but the pump itself will not be effected by it.
     
  8. SophiaW

    SophiaW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    spideog, I don't believe that was the advice I was given but I'll need to check. If memory serves me correctly the pump rep said to remove the pump before any medical x-ray and at the airport to remove the pump and have it manually inspected rather than passing it through an x-ray scanner.

    Here is the Animas website page about travel, see near the bottom where it advises not to expose the pump to x-ray.

    http://www.animas.com/about-insulin-pum ... h-diabetes
     
  9. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I got a letter from my gp after the liquid restrictions were brought in. She charged me £25 and worded it in such a way to make it sound as if diabetes would go away unless she confirmed it each time! I wish...

    So the next time I had a friend who's a dr write a general letter and no one has ever asked me to produce it. I use the frio packs too. They're very good.
     
  10. spideog

    spideog · Well-Known Member

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    There are no xrays in the regular style walk through scanners. There are xrays in the bag scanner, and nastier types of "rays" in the naked body scanner.

    The Animas page, without specifically stating it, is suggesting that you should keep the pump attached and when the metal detector arch goes beep just get them to give you a pat down for anything else whilst showing them the pump as the reason for the beep.

    Do not go through the new body scanner with a pump attached though.
     
  11. SophiaW

    SophiaW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Ooh, that's mean. Our GP did the letter for free.
     
  12. jonesy

    jonesy · Well-Known Member

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    my son wears an accu chek combo pump. he wears it through the metal detector and i'm pretty sure it doesn't even beep.

    jonesy
     
  13. Dustydazzler

    Dustydazzler Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh my goodness please do not take your pump off and put it with your keys, mobile and wallet. That makes it go through the x-ray and can instantly break your pump. You must keep it on and walk through the archway which is just a metal detector. If you go through America it most likely will set the alarm off but in most other places it wont. It's only x-rays that are harmful and this includes if you were go to the dentist or anywhere else for an x-ray you should remove it from risk. You can put your testing kit through the x-ray.

    With regards to the initial question and everyones answers, yes keep your insulin with you in your hand luggage. It needs to go in the plastic bag but its way under the 100ml restrictions and they never normally ask to see your letter although it is advisable to get on fro your doctor just incase. Just explaining you have diabetes and carry insulin and sharps etc. Don't forget to keep your testing kit with you, (I only say this as on a flight someone had put it in the hold) and keep some glucose tabs on you. I like to carry some breakfast bars with me just incase there are any major delays.

    Oh, in most hotels, even if you haven gone self catering. If you mention to reception you have insulin that needs to go in a fridge (if you are staying in a decent hotel) they will bring a small fridge to your room.

    I hope you enjoy your holiday!
     
  14. spideog

    spideog · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'd not expect there to be enough metal in a pump to actually set them off normally.

    Only saying the beeping archway to be sure that everyone knows what we are on about. With people using word like scanners and xrays etc in varying senses you can never be sure what one person understands each device to actually be. :D

    They do sometimes vary the sensitivity of the archways, and they go off at random as well. I've had the same arch beep or not at me in the same airport on different days when going through with exactly the same on me, and with zero metal (apart from fillings) have had them beep at me as well.
     
  15. sub

    sub · Member

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    Hi All.

    To clarify a few things re the airport for you...(I work in airport security)

    The archway is a magnet - not an xray. It will not affect your pump, neither will your pump set the alarms off. Your mobile phone will though - so take it out of your pocket!
    There are two different alarms - one is random (even naked you would set it off) the other has detected metal dense enough - usually a belt, mobile phone, high heal shoes, large buckles etc... Not your bra ladies!
    You may be asked if it is ok to swab the pump if you are selected to be searched - this will not damage the pump. Neither will the hand held metal detector - again, this is just a magnet.

    The xray itself emits less radiation than is experienced on the aircraft. This will not damage or have any effect on insulin, BG monitors or pumps (if you took it off - but why would you anyway!)

    With regards to needles and insulin in your bag - Security are only interested in this if your bag is selected for search. You do not need to tell them unless you have a cool bag with an ice pack in your bag - in which case, you should take it out of your bag before the bag goes through the xray machine. You do not need to use the clear bags for your insulin

    The body scanners are infra-red, so will not affect your medical equipment in any way.
    At Gatwick, these are used randomly after you have cleared Security. You can refuse to use it if you are asked. But be prepared to speak to a supervisor as to why you don't want to use it.

    Letters are sometimes required by the airline - I've yet to see an airline ask for one though!
    It can be handy to have your prescription with you though - especially if you have prescribed creams/gels etc that are more than 100ml. These will be allowed through security if you have the label on and it corresponds to the prescription.
     
  16. Curleous

    Curleous · Well-Known Member

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    thanks again all... i am not on pump so hopefully scanners and detectors should not be a issue.


    cheers

    All
     
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