So pump users, what do you do?
I have been traveling a lot for work, and will not go through the new security machines. MiniMed told me that if I did, my warranty is void. I called to ask. But the TSA folks kept at me about how "Pump users walk through these machines all the time. It won't hurt the pump." (eye roll)
I pointed out that the sign says I can request a pat down for a medical device, and I smile and wait patiently for my female screener, who goes through the whole "everybody does it" harange again.
Do you go through?
I went through the new scanners once with my Cozmo pump with no ill effects but I no longer do so. The few times I've asked for a pat down, things went smoothly.
I take my pump off and place it in my carry on. Than when they ask me what I am hiding in my pocket, I tell them innocently "nothing". When that doesn't satisfy them, I pull down my pants in front of god and the world and show them the CGM transmitter on my hip while they cringe in horror at the spectacle I just caused. Is it wrong if I find it amusing?
Arghhh!!! Please don't do that!! Your carry-on is x-rayed and this is really bad for the pump. The metal detectors should not harm the pump, but x-rays very well could!! I spoke with two Minimed reps and someone from the support line and they all stated that metal detectors were ok, but x-rays were definitely NOT ok. So, those backscatter x-ray machines they recently started using in airports are NOT ok. If you do remove your pump, you should hand it to the TSA agent so that it doesn't get directly exposed to x-rays. (Although, I personally don't agree with this because once the pump is out of your sight, someone could mess with it).
I LOVE it! I understand that TSA is "protecting us from terrorism," but they are SO rude. The attitude was disgusting.
Quite frankly, I love it! :)
I do what you described, Spock. The MM pump manual and website actually say to the question about wearing your pump in the FBS:
No, we have conducted official testing on the full body scanners and have found that some may include x-ray. It’s hard for security personnel to keep up on all the different types of medical devices that can go through an airport body scanner – you are the expert on your medical devices. So remember, you aren’t supposed to go through any machines that have x-ray, therefore you must remove your pump and CGM (sensor and transmitter). To avoid removing your devices, ask for a pat-down or alternative screening process
Also, to the reply where the pump was removed and sent through the security xray belt, this is not okay for a MM pump.
I don't make a display of my pump or my diabetes and have never had an issue getting through security with my pump or supplies.
So - NO, I do not go through the full body scanner no matter what the agent says. The metal detector is fine though.
My endo has also advised me against taking off my pump during security screening. The concern is that I could either get separated from my pump if pulled for additional screening or the pump could get stolen or tampered with while off my person. I always just tell people it is a medical device that CANNOT be removed.
Thank you, Karen, for finally clearing up how puzzled I feel whenever this thread comes up. Everyone seems to say, "No, I don't go through the scanners, I ask for a pat-down" and I always wonder, "why don't you just remove your pump and hand it to the agent?". So now I see I can either do that or keep it on and get a pat-down. (No thanks!) I am flying for the first time with my pump in August and I'll just hand it to the agent. That seems the easiest to me!
Zoe, pretty much anything you hand to a TSA agent will be run through the xray machine. While I'm certainly not a fan of the "pat down", it's the only option we've got to keep our equipment safe.
I'm still fairly new to all of this. Within the last month, I've flown several times after being "grounded" for awhile. TSA agents seem to want me to go through the scanner stating that no xray is involved. I just say NO and that I will be subject to the pat down. It takes a good 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish, so I have to alot for it.
See this story of a high school student traveling through the Salt Lake airport with her Animas Ping. We need to be insistent that our pumps not be subjected to xray.
Just got back from a pretty intense international vacation. While traveling, I had my own pump (which I was wearing), a back-up pump, and all my supplies. I always carried with me a note from my doctor describing the things that I have to keep on me at all times (insulin, pump supplies, syringes, juice). However, in the course of traveling 4 flights and getting through 6 separate security lines (both here in the U.S. and abroad), I was never once asked for the note or question why I had any of the items in my bag.
When I got to the front of the line, I informed the security guard that I was wearing a pump and also had a spare insulin pump that needed to be hand checked. I go through metal detectors wearing my own pump. However, I DO NOT subject either pump (my own or the one borrowed from Minimed) to X-rays. This means I DO NOT send the spare pump through the x-ray machine and I do not go through the backscatter x-ray scanners wearing my own pump. If the airport uses a backscatter body scanning machine, I simply ask for a pat down.
I had few issues. The only issue I had that annoyed me was a TSA agent here in the US insisting that I could wear my pump in the backscatter x-ray scanner. I showed her the Minimed insert which clearly states that the pumps should not be exposed to x-rays and she just said, "Well, I have seen other people go through." I explained to her that the x-rays could cause the pump to malfunction and could result in someone dying quickly if a whole lot of insulin was dumped into them at once. I explained to her that our pumps generally contain 3-4 days' worth of insulin, and that if all that insulin went into a person at once they could die. I was nice/curteous, but emphasized the "death" part.