Medtronic’s and the TSA are “Irresponsible”

I am starting to believe that Medtronic’s along with the TSA is “Irresponsible” in not publishing clear , concise instructions and explanations in regards to TSA and Flying. There are so many “Conclusions” and “Rumors” that trying to protect my pump and CGM is becoming the most stressful point of my life in that IO fly every week.

TSA says Body Scanners are Safe. They have near nothing on there sites to help in this issue.
Medtronic’s says to remove the pump, “You need to remove your insulin pump and CGM (sensor and transmitter) while going through an airport body scanner.”
This is Irresponsible advice to people without discussion of the risks, impacts.
Where to do a reinsertion of the Senor in a an Airport ?
In the filthy Bathrooms ?
When I tried to do it in a waiting area I was told I could not as it was a medical thing and people were uncomfortable.

This is not including the fact that to remove the CGM sensor is a cost of $50+ !!!! Others say it is safe. My primary airport, Raleigh NC now has ONLY the Body Scanners and therefore I have no choice but to go to a pat down every time to be safe.

Medtronic’s should follow their creed “Medtronic Patient Services is here to help. We're available to provide general educational information about Medtronic devices and answer questions about our devices and therapies.” And publish accurate, complete and supported directions on this issue.

Views: 697

Tags: Medtronics, Pumps, TSA

Comment by jupton on September 28, 2011 at 7:20am
I haven't flown recently, but no one has ever suggested that I remove my pump.
Comment by wallskev on September 28, 2011 at 9:00am
Medtronics Website suggests :

•You need to remove your insulin pump and CGM (sensor and transmitter) while going through an airport body scanner. If you do not wish to remove your devices, you may request an alternative pat-down screening process
Comment by Amanda Sheldon, Medtronic on October 3, 2011 at 2:59pm
Hi @wallskev I’m the PR Director here at Medtronic. I know travelling can be a total hassle and it only gets worse when you have diabetes. And flying once a week makes you a serious road warrior!

The thing with airport security is this. It’s fine to go through the old, typical metal detectors with your pump and CGM. But, when TSA introduced the new body scanners back in November of 2010, we conducted testing on them and found that they may contain x-ray, which could cause insulin pumps and CGM devices to malfunction (that’s why we’ve long advised our customers not to put their pumps on the belt to go through the x-ray machine).

So, if all your airport has is the new body scanners, you can disconnect and remove your pump (if you’re using Quick-Set or Mio you don’t have to take out your infusion set, just disconnect like you would if you were taking a shower) and/or remove your monitor, sensor and transmitter to go through the scanner. Or you can opt for the pat-down.

You’re right that you can’t reinsert a sensor or an infusion set, and need to put in a new sensor and infusion set if you choose to remove them. I understand there’s a cost to you to do this. We do what we can to ensure the safe travel of people who use our devices, but the TSA is ultimately responsible for airport security and scanning.

I know this is not an ideal situation and I’m sorry that it’s one more thing to deal with when you’re flying. But, given how much you – and all of our customers – depend on our products day-in and day-out, we think it’s incredibly important to protect these devices, which is why we’ve provided this guidance.

I know a lot of our customers choose the pat-down, but some also choose to take the devices off – everyone has their own preference. If you do choose to remove the devices and go through the body scanner, I’m not aware of any TSA regulation that would prevent you from putting your devices back on in the same area where everyone puts their shoes back on. But, of course, TSA would be the folks to ask about that.

You can find our official guidance on our blog and Website here:

We also have some additional travel information here, including a downloadable airport emergency card, that you might find helpful:

TSA also has some info for people with diabetes here:

I hope you found this helpful. If you ever have any other questions, you can always feel free to call the 24-Hour HelpLine at 1.800.646.4633 or reach me and my team at

Amanda Sheldon


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