12 Responses

  1. sas
    sas December 5, 2011 at 6:13 am | | Reply

    my partner and i had a problem when flying earlier in the year. he had all of his supplies in a clear plastic bag with a letter from his dr, rxs, etc. he asked them for a visual inspection and the tsa guy ignored him and said, “everyone else puts them through x-ray.” the tsa man started to put the supplies on the x-ray belt until i firmly insisted that they be hand inspected. as a result, i got the full pat down screening.

    that annoyed me so much since we followed all the steps and the tsa guy isn’t going to have to deal with any fall out from bad insulin as a result of x-rays, etc.

  2. Cara
    Cara December 5, 2011 at 9:11 am | | Reply

    Just a note, Minimed pump & cgms users are advised (via the MM website) NOT to go thru the full body scanners. The TSA agents will tell you it is fine. I’ve had to argue with them a couple of times. And if you don’t do the body scanners, they do the full part down in the glass box. If it were just my pump, I might take it off & ask for the visual inspection of the pump & go on thru the full body scanners, but the cgms is pretty much impossible to remove.
    Don’t let them pressure you into going thru the scanners if you aren’t comfortable with it.

  3. Mike Walker
    Mike Walker December 5, 2011 at 9:26 am | | Reply

    Just take your pump off and leave your supplies in your bag and run them through the machine. It takes very little time to simply disconnect and put your pump in your carry on walk through the machine with no abnormal alarms and go find your bag and put it back on. It takes 5 minutes tops and I’ve never had an issue in over 10 flights. Simple as that.

  4. Kathy
    Kathy December 5, 2011 at 10:39 am | | Reply

    Dexcom sensors do just fine in the metal detectors but not full body scanners. Don’t ask, don’t tell and you’ll be fine. You can also have Dexcom send you a letter for TSA to explain it in case it’s necessary.

  5. Caroline
    Caroline December 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm | | Reply

    Oy! One reason why I’m grateful I switched back to insulin pens. Much easier to travel with….both in terms of airport security, and for all the extra space in my bag now that I’m not longer hauling a ton of extra sets and cartridges with me!

  6. Jana
    Jana December 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | | Reply

    Everyone’s got a different opinion on this, but I will NOT take off my pump for any reason. There is no way I am disconnecting and handing it into someone else’s possession. The story about the confiscation of the pregnant woman’s insulin is terrifying enough that I don’t even send my CGM receiver through the X-ray in my carry on. I stick it in my back pocket before I go through the metal detector, and they always end up having to swab it and my (Animas, so mostly metal and *always* sets the detector off) pump after my pat-down.

    The pat-downs don’t bother me so much EXCEPT when I almost missed a flight because there was a line of about 4 of us that needed a medical-device-related pat down (and I had gotten to the airport later than I wanted to due to some public transportation issues). This was at Philadelphia Int’l, FYI. My other recent travel at O’Hare and Mpsl/St. Paul Int’l has been very smooth (no lines at security at all).

    The worst thing about the pat-downs that I’ve noticed recently is that now they touch your hair! (At least if you’re me and you wear your hair in a long-ish braid.) Although I *was* successful recently at the Mpls/St. Paul airport asking them not to touch my hair (when they ask you if you have any sensitive or painful areas), but I have a feeling that was more “Minnesota Nice” than actual TSA policy. For some reason I guess I don’t so much mind the back-of-the-hand crotch and boob groping, but touching my hair with those rubber gloves is just ICK–too personal! (Maybe I’m weird?)

  7. k2
    k2 December 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm | | Reply

    Amy & Allison –
    It was an honor guest posting for Diabetesmine & thank you so much!!

    Sas – You are a most excellent partner & I’m so sorry you had to deal with such behavior!

    Mike – I’m glad to hear you have had to deal with any issues. I had my pump sealed up in a makeup bag, in my handbag & Denver International Airport TSA workers STILL pulled me aside and interrogated me re: “the device with tubing in my handbag.”

    Cara – Thanks for the CGM advice & I agree – We can’t cave to pressure.

    Kathy – Excellent point re: a letter from Dexcom & “don’t ask don’t tell.”

    Caroline – “Oy” is right!

    Jana – Philadelphia International is notorious for their slow lines, medical device inspection and otherwise. They touched your hair with rubber gloves?? ICK is right!
    Kelly K

  8. Barbara
    Barbara December 6, 2011 at 9:38 am | | Reply

    I won’t take off my pump and hand it to anyone other than a family member. I have, occasionally, removed it and sent it through the x-ray on the belt. However, lately I have removed the metal clip from the Animas pump, tucked the pump into the center of my pants–so as to minimize proximity to the sides of the walk through scanner. This usually is fine, but all airport scanners are not set to the same sensitivity.
    I would not advise anyone to take off their pump and hand it to a TSA agent.

  9. David E. Williams of the Health Business Blog

    I was on a bus recently that was so badly delayed that a man who was dependent on oxygen almost had to call an ambulance when his battery ran out. Apparently this had occurred before and caused a major fracas when an ambulance had to take him to a hospital.

    It’s tough enough to travel without a chronic illness, never mind with.

  10. Kelly Rawlings
    Kelly Rawlings December 9, 2011 at 6:56 am | | Reply

    Typically, the statement “that’s an insulin pump clipped to my waistband” is met with an understanding nod and a swab or a respectful inspection.

    I sat on the plane yesterday with my cgm next to a woman traveling with a service dog (Morgan, a beautiful Golden Retriever) who works to alert her to seizures. I felt as Americans with Disabilities, we had come far, but still have miles to go. Thanks all, who do their part by being calmly informative and firmly yet politely insisting on their rights while traveling.

  11. {Type 1 Tuesday} 12.13.11
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