We’ve flown several times as a family since my daughter’s diagnosis 6 years ago. We are familiar with what to do with the dexcom and the precautions we take through x-ray etc. She is new to pumping and this is the first time we’ve flown with a pump. Can anyone provide suggestions for us as to how they deal with their pump going through security?
If you can get thru the metal detector, it won’t hurt the pump or CGM. Avoid xrays and “backscatter” scanners. that’s the one that rotates around one’s body as u stand in the middle of the chamber. We end up getting pat downs (also known as “you’ll get felt up, repeatedly, by the TSA agent”. It’s disgusting and yet another reason I know longer like to fly).
Tandem has this letter for you to carry explaining that the pump can’t go through an x-ray machine: https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/docs/default-source/general-guides/ml-1000524_a_print_info_card_tsa.pdf?sfvrsn=2
Probably not necessary, but worth printing and carrying around.
I get pat downs. I don’t like waiting around for there to be someone available to screen me, but I don’t find the pat down itself to be a big deal.
My guess is that if your daughter is a child, they will not do a pat down, but you should prepare her for the possibility. You can (obviously) be with her the whole time. (And, I realize Dave44 is being jocular, but just to allay any alarm, there’s no feeling involved, just patting with gloves over clothing.)
I know they say no xray, but I disconnect my tandem pump, put it in my purse and set it on the belt. I also have a dexcom that shows up on the full body scan, they ask about it and occasionally swab it and then let me go. I have never had a issue. I travel all the time, domestic and international. I have been asked maybe 3 times, only here in the US and I say “I am diabetic” the TSA says “meh” and off I go.
Perhaps I am just lucky, I feel like they are more concerned about my kindle.
Has anyone been required to show a letter? I have not. Do you think they would even notice if it was signed my Dr Seuss? I kid, but seriously anyone?.
She’s 18 and has been patted down each time we fly. We don’t let anything go through x ray or scanner that’s electronic so it makes sense to carry a Ziploc bag and just pop the pump in a bag to be swabbed with everything else. With a steel infusion set she’d set off the metal detector I suppose.
Is there anything in the way of pumping while in flight I need to know eg cabin pressure affects or anything?
Cabin pressure does not affect pumps at all, to my knowledge (or in my experience).
Being seated for a long time makes my blood sugar creep up. I try to move around the cabin as much as possible and generally set a higher temp basal.
For what it’s worth, I’d make sure the pump was adequately full and that I had a good infusion site before boarding. I wouldn’t want to refill a cartridge or change infusion sets in flight. Also, be sure to bring a couple syringes and a vial of insulin as backup.
Okay. Good tips thank you.
Dexcom G6 System User Guide268 Appendix B: Security and Air Page 267
Travel PRECAUTION Going Through Security Check Point
When wearing your G6, ask for hand-wanding or full-body pat-down and visual inspection instead of going through the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) body scanner (also called a millimeter wave scanner) or putting any part of the G6 in the baggage x-ray machine.
You can wear the G6 for the walk-through metal detector. If you do, use your meter for treatment decisions until you leave the security area.
Because we haven’t tested every x-ray and scanner, we don’t know if they damage the G6.
Not sure what kind of machine it is? Be safe – either ask the TSA officer, request hand-wanding, or request full-body pat-down.