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Anyone else see this? Pump fried by airport scanner

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by DsMom, May 10, 2012.

  1. Charliesmom

    Charliesmom Approved members

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    Where did the article get the $10k number?
    I agree that if the TSA agent talked her into doing the scan, they shouldn't have. However, I also believe people should have more personal accountability. The girl knew that the pump shouldn't go through it but chose to listen to the agent. Was she flying by herself?
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

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    I think it was a school trip.

    Our CDE told us about this on Tuesday ... Maddie said that she would have refused - well, maybe :rolleyes: In theory, we all know that we should stand up in every instance for what is right and what we know we are "legally" ( in policy terms anyway) entitled to, but we all know that when our kids have to make these snap decisions, especially when they are being pressured or feeling like they are holding everyone up, they may not in fact be the best self-advocate. Hard to know both what exactly happened in this case, and hard to pass judgment on the participants.

    PS, Hi Heidi '-) long time no see!
     
  3. Lisa P.

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    I believe the concern with Iscanning and metal detecting machines is not an irrational fear of amorphous "radiation" but the very legitimate concern that X-rays are electromagnetic waves, that some machines create magnetic fields, and electrical equipment can be affected by magnetic fields and magnets.

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/airport-security3.htm

    It has nothing to do with the pump being "fragile" or with Godzilla growing in the tubing from the radiation. It's a legit, if infrequent, possible risk.

    Old people like me will remember how you used to not be able to set your credit cards or PC next to a strong magnet or you might wipe info. Magnets and electricity go together. There are safeguards in modern equipment but it's still reasonable to take precautions with equipment when it is vital that that equipment not malfunction -- I can get over having a speeddial wiped on my cell, but if the data and functioning of an insulin pump are disturbed that's serious.

    As an aside, I can tell you that I would never advise my 16 year old daughter to argue, even very politely, with the recommendation of a TSA officer at the security checkpoint. "Are you sure?" is probably more than I'd like. The TSA behaved incorrectly here, the young lady did nothing wrong, and while I think it's great to hear good stories of good travel experiences clearly many people with medical needs continue to have serious problems with TSA for no good reason. After 10+ years, the system should be much improved. If you check TSA blogs and sites, for example, folks have been calling for written policy on CGM tech since at least 2009 -- nothing seems forthcoming. I'm sure it's fair to cut TSA some slack on account of the large numbers of people they deal with every day, but when a bad incident occurs I think it's important not to "blame the diabetic" -- it's her own fault, if she had been more clear, if she had asserted her rights, she must be mistaken about the pump breaking, her concern about going through the scanners was unfounded despite company recommendation. She did right, TSA did wrong, we need to affirm that so that policy can be improved.
     
  4. Mama Belle

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    It was a school trip. She was traveling with a chaperone, but not with a parent. Not sure where the $10K number came from.
     
  5. selketine

    selketine Approved members

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    The article I read said that a company replaced it for her - which made it sound like not the pump company. So Animas replaced it?

    It is the first time I've heard of a scatter scanner affecting a pump so I hope Animas has it and can take a look at exactly what went wrong with it.
     
  6. caspi

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    I think you need to give the girl a break. She's a junior in high school! Those TSA lines can sometimes be stressful and hectic, and I imagine it could be even more so when you are travelling with a school group and not your parent.
     
  7. Mama Belle

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    Exactly. Perfect example ... earlier this year my daughter had a low in class. She asked her teacher to go to the nurse with a buddy. The teacher of course said yes and told her to take the back stairs, which was the fastest trip to the nurse. In the hall, they encountered another teacher, one who is not familiar with my daughter or her needs with respect to her D and she quizzed the girls on why they were not in class. Sam explained and the teacher told her to take the elevator instead of the stairs and then asked why it took 2 of them to go to the nurse. My daughter spent valuable time arguing with the teacher and educating her about using a buddy for safety reasons and explained that she would not take the elevator, that she was to take the stairs. The teacher insisted that they take the elevator since it was faster (a huge no-no in our house--you never get on an elevator when low or even close to being low if you do not have a means of treating) and they did. I had hoped Sam would have followed her inner voice and been an advocate for herself, but a person in a position of power was pressuring her into doing what she knew was wrong. Had you asked me before this happened if my daughter would have succumbed and given into the pressure, I would have said, "never, in a million years". But despite what we would all like to think our kids would do in this situation, until they are in it we can never accurately say how they will handle it.

    I am sure this has been a life lesson for Savannah and I am sure it has helped empower her to stand up for herself and be an advocate. I am proud of her for standing up and speaking out about her experience.

    Yes, it was replaced by Animas, not by the TSA. For the record here is Animas's official stance on pump travel (if you call the 800 number their prerecorded "hold message" specifically states that the pump should not go through airport x-ray scanning.

    P.S. Hi Sarah!
     
  8. selketine

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    The article posted on our local diabetes group discussion board (here in DC) said "Savannah (see picture) already has a new insulin pump. A company that heard her story quickly got it to her when she got back to Colorado. "

    The "a company" makes it sound like some random company and not Animas - which is the manufacturer. I think it is the odd little details that got written into the story like this - and the $10,000 figure - that always make you wonder what actually happened.

    http://www.abc4.com/content/news/to...-insulin-savannah/Az-QjubuEUeXMX7LAbC1Xw.cspx
     
  9. caspi

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    Thank you for posting the link. I hadn't seen this.

    This comment really stood out to me... "The 16-year-old walked into the scanner with some serious reservations "My life is pretty much in their hands when I go through a body scan with my insulin pump on." She was right to be worried. She says the pump stopped working correctly. "Coming off an insulin pump is rough. You never know what is going to happen when you are not on the insulin pump." "

    Talk about blowing an incident out of proportion! Does is suck that her insulin pump stopped working? Of course! But it's not necessarily life and death. We all have a back up plan in case something happens to our pumps.

    Between the news reporter and what the girl said, all I can say is "The Oscar goes to......."
     
  10. tuckerce

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    Thanks for this reply: Yes, it was replaced by Animas, not by the TSA. For the record here is Animas's official stance on pump travel (if you call the 800 number their prerecorded "hold message" specifically states that the pump should not go through airport x-ray scanner.



    We are planning our vacation for the summer and this will be our first time flying with Caitlin since she has had the insulin pump.
     
  11. emm142

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    In fairness, being 16, on a trip without your usual caregivers and being forced to switch diabetes regimens is really tough. You don't necessarily have the acumen of an adult, and with changes in schedule it can be really crazy to switch D regimens at the same time.

    BTDT! Although not with a broken pump, for me it was just some kind of crazy and misguided personal choice, LOL.
     
  12. caspi

    caspi Approved members

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    True. I actually mentioned her age in a previous post and can imagine it was scary when it happened. However, I think this has all been blown a bit out of proportion.
     

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