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Millimeter Wave Scanner at airport and pumps/cgm

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Mom264, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Mom264

    Mom264 Approved members

    Mar 17, 2009
    Hi All,

    Background-- The last time we took an airplane dd was under 13 and I did not let her go through a scanner because i was concerned about damage to pump/cgm. They did the hand checks and (very kind female TSA staff did pat downs.) I thought it all worked very well.

    We will fly again and now dd says she really disliked having to get pulled aside for separate screening and would like to walk through as her sister does. I have been trying to figure out the best way to do this. Apparently the airport uses Millimeter Wave scanners. Should I just I disconnect the pump and ask for hand inspection and let her go through the scanner? If so, won't the infusion site and the dexcom site show up on the scanner anyway?

    Would the Dexcom transmitter (which attaches to the sensor) be compromised at all by the scanner? Should l ask for the receiver to be hand checked? Or can that be x-rayed?

    (I have also considered not having her on the sensor -- removing it -- for the flight, if that would make it a smoother transition.) I think she just wants to be a regular teen for this walk through and, besides putting her on Lantus and Apidra for the flight, I can't figure out how to do it.

    Any suggestions? What have you done in these situations?
  2. mamattorney

    mamattorney Approved members

    Apr 9, 2013
    Does the airport only use the scanners? We don't fly a lot, but most airports I've been to recently use both the regular metal detectors and the scanners. No harm will come by going through a metal detector with either a pump or the cgm sensor. I'm not sure about the cgm sensor and the wave scanner.

    The past couple of flights, my daughter has disconnected her pump and asked to have it hand scanned. The t:slim always sets off the metal detector, and setting it off makes her self conscious and results in a pat down (though modified because she's 12). Now, she hands over her pump to a worker, walks through the metal detector (no alarm) and walks over to the side where she has her pump and her hands wiped. No pat down anymore and she seems OK with the hand check of the pump. Maybe because they are checking a thing and not HER, so to speak.
  3. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Jul 30, 2008
    Just do it ... we've never, ever, ever had a problem with any scanners and flying.


    EDIT: We're on the omnipod and dexcom so the controls go through the belt scanner. These people have seen a CRAP TON of diabetics and we always get juice boxes through no questions asked.
  4. Mom264

    Mom264 Approved members

    Mar 17, 2009
    Ha! Thank you. I sometimes wish I could "just do it" since I sometimes overthink stuff. It would be so much easier if I could control EVERYTHING ;-). Good to know about the juice boxes. . . I have been stressing about what source of glucose to carry.
    I'll have to look up what else the philly airport has. We don't fly a lot.
    I think your dds method may be a good solution for us. Dd would.no longer get a modified pat down.
    I'm sure I'm over thinking this. Just want to make it as smooth as possible.
    Thank you.
  5. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

    Nov 8, 2012
    I have been through the scanners over 100 times with a pump and cgm and have never had issues. I used to ask for a pat down but now I just go through and say I have a pump. They ignore the dex sensor and have me touch the actual pump and swab my hands. I have done this with a minimed pump, tslim, and omnipod. I highly recommend signing up for precheck if you will be flying a lot since it lets you skip the scanners (most of the time) and often breeze on through (and you get to keep your shoes on!). That said, I have been directed to go through the scanners a few times with precheck so it is not a guarantee. The minimed pump will not set of the metal detectors so if that is all she is going through she can just hide the pump in her clothes and not disclose it.

    I fly through Philly all the time. The security checkpoints vary greatly by terminal. I have had one mildly bad experience in the last 5 years with well over 150 trips through airport security in the US.
  6. GChick

    GChick Approved members

    Nov 9, 2013
    You've just gone through and just let them know you have a pump with the tslim?

    It was my understanding that they (tandem) strongly did not recommend doing that.

    Was it something they just didn't want to deal with or hadn't tested properly, so they thought it was safer to give a blanket statement?

    I would looooove to not disconnect (instead of having to disconnect to let them hand inspect) my tslim when I fly, but on that point (but not always others) I do what the manufacturer recommends. If someone genuinely claims that they haven't found it necessary it'd be something I'd happily consider doing/trying.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015

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