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TSA

Discussion in 'Insulin Pump Forum' started by crazylaz2200, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. crazylaz2200

    crazylaz2200 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi, I'm about to go abroad on a school trip and I've never traveled with an airplane before and really don't know what to do. What should I do with my insulin pump at TSA? Do I go through full-body scanner or do I put it in the box for all electronics? Also, should I have a letter from my doctor saying I'm a diabetic, and if so, where should I keep it, since as far as I know, you can't carry anything in your pockets at security? I'm really freaking out please help :nailbiting::nailbiting::nailbiting:
     
  2. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You mention the TSA. Do you live here in the USA or will you be traveling here?

    I'm in the USA myself and fly about 10k-12k miles a month.

    While I don't use a pump, I do have a Dexcom G5.

    The official answer is that you should request a patdown. There is a hotline to "TSA Cares" (google it) that you can call and request assistance ahead of time.

    The practical answer is that modern body scanner security devices are widely regarded as perfectly safe and utilize millimeter wave technology similar to your cell phone. The body scanners that caused an uproar were removed from US airports back around 2013.

    Personally, go through the metal detector (I pay for several expedited security programs) every single time and I never check a bag (on business trips) so all my extra supplies goes through the X-ray conveyor.
     
    #2 TorqPenderloin, Aug 7, 2017 at 2:07 PM
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  3. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Get a note from your doctor and get advice on the full body scanner. The standard metal one is fine. Medtronic says you can't do the electromagnetic wave one. The reason for this is it has the ability to wipe memory from electronic items which may be a risk you don't want to take. I have not had an issue at any airport but haven't travelled to the States since getting my pump
     
  4. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    I have flown quite a lot with my pump.
    Security (I think this is what you mean by TSA) is the only time anyone pays any attention to it.
    The usual recommendation is that insulin pumps should not be x-rayed. This means you should keep it on (don't put it on the conveyor belt) and, as the other say, you are fine to go through the metal detector arch but generally not the full body scanner. Everywhere I have travelled in USA (Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, DC, ...), the security guys are familiar with the pump and what to do about it. Expect a bit of a wait whilst they find someone of your gender who is available to pat you down and then do as they ask you.
    As for your doctor's letter, keep it somewhere you can get to easily. This could be in a pocket in your hand luggage (you won't be without it for long) or in your pocket (a piece of paper won't set off the metal detector).

    Other things to think about on your trip
    - if you are changing timezones, change the time on your pump whilst you are on the flight.
    - work out what your backup plan is if your pump should fail. The chance of this happening is very small. But, it is better to be prepared beforehand when you can pack an alternative. This may be your basal bolus pens or a spare pump. Whichever you take, remember to make a note of your doses before you leave home.
    - Many many many people travel with diabetes and with a pump so you are not alone.
    - Have an amazing time
     
  5. crazylaz2200

    crazylaz2200 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Thanks everyone :)! You've have been of great help. I already feel a little less stressed out;).

    One other thing though, I've heard from some diabetics they were denied a full body pat down and were forced to put their pump in the container for electronics. I'm worried if this happens to me. Should I just do what they say, will my pump be fine if it goes through the scanner with other electronics just this once?
    And I knows this doesn't happen very often, but I'm still a bit worried.
     
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