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Problems At Airports With Insulin Pumps

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Richard157, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Richard157

    Richard157 Approved members

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    From Diabetes Health magazine:

    "While the machines have been certified as safe by the FDA and outside observers, travelers can choose to opt out of using them (some have raised concerns about radiation). But if passengers opt out (or if the machines raise an alarm), they are subjected to a thorough patdown. These comprehensive body searches are the second change introduced by the TSA and are the focal point of recent outrage."

    http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2010/12/23/6990/traveling-with-a-pump-tsa-regulations/
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  2. Flutterby

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    We won't fly because of this (not like we'd fly anyway but..).. I won't subject Kaylee to a full body pat down. Its a tough spot for PSA though.. they are trying to protect people, but at the same time they are over stepping the line.. So.. what do you do? If you want to fly you have to follow the rules, however crazy they are.. if you don't like it, don't fly. Personally, if I *had* to fly I'd rather know everyone when through a scanner or went through a pat down than having anyone just be able to walk through.. a total pain, especially for those with medical devices, like insulin pumps, but its way better to be safe than blown up.
     
  3. Nancy in VA

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    I notified the agent that Emma was wearing a pump and a CGMS - since she sets off the metal detectors every time. The full body scan wasn't offered to us as an option - as a matter of fact, he told us to just wait to walk through the metal detector until the female was ready to do the full body pat down - and it was a full body pat down and I think they are horribly intrusive and humiliating! If you have seen a video of one, they are pretty accurate - they basically have to grope your breasts and your crotch and your buttocks
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    Jack has never set off the metal detector. I don't even tell them that he has a pump on anymore. We've never been stopped at security in the dozen times that he's flown since diagnosis.
     
  5. 3kidlets

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    We have flown 6 times in the past 3 months since my daughter has had her pump (she wears the Omnipod). We have had zero problems. We flew this week - the day after Christmas to Dallas. I have never alerted security to her pump nor do I say anything about what I am carrying. She has gone thru the scanners and the xrays and nothing has been said ever. I put all her supplies in one large ziplock bag and put it on the belt. It has never been flagged nor have we ever been stopped, pulled aside or had our bags searched for D supplies (do get our bags regularly searched for all the crap my husband packs when he travels - all his electronic gadgets, computers, Ipads, I pods, Iphone etc etc).
    We have flown domestic and international in the past 3 months . Maybe it is just poor security, maybe we have just been lucky - not sure but I've learned to just keep my mouth shut. When she was first diagnosed about a year ago, we travelled and I pulled out all the supplies with the letter from the dr. office. This slowed down everything. They searched all my bags, wiped down all her insulin bottles with those ridiculous wipes, etc. Now we just breeze through because I don't say a thing!
     
  6. Richard157

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    Thanks

    Thanks for the replies, they have been very helpful!
     
  7. Nancy in VA

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    We are flying again in March (and perhaps in Feb). I think maybe this time I'll take off her pump and send it through the machine and see if she sets off the metal detectors. The literature said that the Animas is more likely to set it off and our CDE says (despite what Animas said) that its ok to send the pump through on the belt. Since another here went through with the Nav transmitter on, maybe she won't set it off and save us some hassle.
     
  8. Mom2rh

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    Ryan will be flying again in March. We'll be flying out of San Francisco...I'm not sure if that airport has the scanners or not. I agree that saying nothing tends to be the best policy.
     
  9. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    It's just a lot more complicated than it used to be.

    We've flown a lot with Maddie and her pump,in the past she's just walk through the metal detector and not once did her Cozmo set it off. Now, with the full body scanners I'd not be comfortable having her take her pump through the scanner AND I've read that a medical device spotted by the screened will warrant an automatic pat-down. So... if you're lucky and are asked to go through the old, metal detecting machines ( which are still the majority of those in use) then little has changed, but if you're at an airport that is using a lot of the full body scanners then we may have no choice but to alert the security staff that our CWD is wearing a pump and that may, and most likely will, trigger the pat-down. ( worth noting that the pat-down is say to be "modified" for children under 12)
     
  10. Mody_Jess_Pony

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    I still feel it's wrong that airport security feels the need to subject children or anyone to a pat down with a recognized medical device, and insulin pump is an insulin pump, it's intravenously attached to the body, it's kinda obvious what it is, I understand the risk, but at the same time it feels like overkill/violating.
     
  11. Nancy in VA

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    All I can say is that Emma's pat down in November was NOT a modified one - it was a complete one - both directions (Dulles and Orlando)
     
  12. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    No doubt, Nancy, the TSA has done a horrible job of developing consistent policy and doing adequate training. It's a crap shoot. I'm sorry Emma had to go through that. Was she upset by it? I know that Maddie would be humiliated to be touched so.

    I'm not looking forward to our next flight.
     
  13. Nancy in VA

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    She just kinda went with it - I was standing right there and was talking to her to distract her.

    The irony is that we went to see the filming of Christmas in Washington a few weeks ago - an event that the President was at - and she didn't have as much hassle with security. I informed them of her pump and CGMS in advance, they manually checked our bags (no xray belt) and they wanded her and she was good to go!
     
  14. MHoskins2179

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    To me, it seems that talking to your child about this ahead of time and doing a mock-pat down at home to get them more familiar with what's ahead might be what's needed. I see a need for these security moves, as it's now unfortunately the time we live in. I wonder how people would feel if someone used an insulin pump as an explosive and succeeded... Would we gripe about these pat-downs then? This isn't over the line, in my opinion, it's something that must be done to help ensure security as best as possible, and that's something I think parents can prepare their children for to avoid that "intimidation and humiliation." Tom Karyla, the Diabetes Dad, has suggested and done this and says it works wonders to help a child feel more at ease about this process.
     
  15. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    This presumes that the new security measures are the best way to stop terrorists from attacking commercial air travel. Personally, I think we're chasing our tails, look like fools and would be far better off screening cargo.
     
  16. emm142

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    The pump is not intravenously attached to the body. ;)
     
  17. iluvmhp

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    We have not said anything the last few times we have flown. We made it through security fine a couple of times.

    The last time, it set an alarm off and they went crazy. "Why didn't we just tell them" ...they went through every single one of her bags, pulled everything out, did a pat down(the old fashion kind - still not fun). She was in tears by the end. We have traveled with no problem before, but this was not fun for her. She is 11 and was in tears. It sucks!! I have a defibulator and have to be patted down too, but they didn't go through my bags.

    I felt horrible for her. We talked about it, roll played before (when she was younger)....but I am sorry, nothing was going to prepare her for the way she was made to feel that day.
     
  18. kimmcannally

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    This is the reason I would never even attempt to fly with DS. With an insulin pump that might trigger a pat-down and autism that WOULD trigger a meltdown if that happened, it's just not worth the risk.
     
  19. aidensmom

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    We'll be flying in 2 weeks for the 1st time since pumping and I'm a little concerned about what is the best way to handle this. Thanks for the post . . . I'm trying to get all the tips I can.
     
  20. MHoskins2179

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    To an extent, I personally think we're always going to be chasing our tails in this regard. I'd like to see both these measures in addition to cargo screening, but at what point does it all just become too much and not worth it to fly? In my opinion, I'd rather feel some sense of safety and know we were doing something rather than not have these little personal space intrusions that might last a few minutes at a time. False sense of security? Worth it? Maybe for some, not for others. We all have different senses of appropriateness and what might make flying worth it or not for ourselves and our families. I see it as an unfortunate but necessary evil based on the times we live.

    I've not been "hassled" by airport security because of my Minimed pump, and only twice have had them question me about it and fondle it. Wasn't a big deal though. With the most recent TSA rules, I received a full body pat down and was more annoyed with having to go through it. But I knew what to expect and got over it. And, I imagine, kids likely do to based on those conversations with CWD attenders who have gone through this type of thing more recently in the past month or so.
     

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