Any info on the new airport full body security scanners and pumps?

I know we are not supposed to put our pumps through the X-Ray machines at the security checkpoint (at least that’s what my MM Paradigm literature states), but after the “Fruit of the Boom” guy tried to light his underwear on fire I’ve been hearing a lot about those new full body scanners. I don’t know how they work, but I’ve heard there are two types: one works on the same principle as X-Ray and another that doesn’t.

Does anyone have any info about the non-x-ray scanner and how it may or may not affect insulin pumps?

An observation : what I know about airport scanners ( the ones stiil in use at most airports ) insulin pumps are OK to put through . MM has warned users NOT to use with ( ie disconnect and put away in safe place ) MRI machines

Don’t know the answer to your question …I shall contact Medtronic soon , as I am travelling to the US from Canada by air end of this month .

I don’t know what type of machine it was, but I have been in a full body scanner in Detroit with my pump about a year ago on and it survived.

So, I don’t know much, but my personal experience says it was OK (for what that is worth…).

Just buy some steaks. Roll the pump into them and stuff that into your pants.

a) they will not see your pump
b) it will be shielded from the low radiation of the scanner
c) the security team will be impressed

In my opinion these scanners are more a peace of mind thing. But maybe the next generation can magically distinguish between human and animal flesh, between living and dead flesh. I just dislike that these scanners are sold as the ultimate solution for security.

I went through one of the full body scanners at DIA (Denver) a couple of months ago,

Me: "I have an insulin pump on my arm."
TSA Guy: "Let me see it."
Me: (Rolls up sleeve)
Screener: "That’s an insulin pump?"
Me: "Yeah. It’s the tubeless kind."
Screener (Into his radio to the guy monitoring the scanner) "Yeah, this guy’s got some sort of high tech insulin pump on his arm."
Scan complete.
Screener: “Thanks. Enjoy your flight.”

No stress, no mess.

The two types of full body scanners that are hitting the news now (November 2010) are backscatter Xray type and electromagnetic type. Ignoring any possible health risks from the Xrays, the backscatter Xray machines shouldn’t cause any problem to the insulin pump. However, the electromagnetic wave type are a huge worry for me (I used to do research work in electromagnetic wave devices). Under certain circumstances, they can either fry the electronics in an insulin pump or cause it to reboot. And the same strength waves can do either one, depending on how they hit the pump. At this point in time, I am completely uncertain how to advise other than to say that you should ask if it is a backscatter type scanner (those should be OK if you’re willing to take the Xray dose - I am) or an electromagnetic wave type (I would probably disconnect my infusion set, put the pump and tubing into a bag and pass it through the baggage Xray machine or ask for a manual check - making sure that they have clean hands (or clean gloves) to do it). We need input from MiniMed on this, however.

I am getting a loaner for travel as well. How do you handle this? take out of your carry on and have hem hand inspect the loaner?

MM cautions against it, but I went through one with mine in SFO and had no issues. It hasn’t been tested, and not knowing the magnetic field of all devices they err on the side of caution so they say no. I haven’t decided what I’ll do next time, take the risk (however small) with the scan or get one of the new ‘enhanced’ pat downs…

Amy at covered this topic today:

In the article, Animas recommends not wearing the insulin pump through either one of the scanner machines. The only one it apparently won’t have anything happen to is the traditional walk-through metal detector machine that have been used for years. However, you run the risk of setting it off depending on what pump you have. I know some who never set it off, and others who set it off all the time.