Insulin pumps and full body scanners at airports

Arriving in Heathrow, checking in to our Mumbai via Munich flight was a breeze, it hardly could have been easier, except for the slight confusion between my “don’t let the x-ray staff bamboozle you with tales that the bodyscanner will be okay with the insulin pump, it’s not” and the “he said it would be fine”.

Security checks often feature high in the list of people with diabetes who are infrequent flyers. It was for us too as we have only flown once post Amy’s Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis. Back then all we had to worry about was taking insulin and other medical kit through. Now though we had the added issue of Amy’s insulin pump which she wears 24/7 and the two backup insulin pumps we were carrying, just in case.

The rules on insulin pumps and x-rays are pretty clear for most:
– they’re okay through the walkthrough scanner although it’s easier to disconnect them briefly and pass to a security officer
– the pumps must not go through the conveyor belt x-ray machines
– the pumps must not be subjected to the newer full body scanners.
However some frequent flyers say this is all rubbish, and I’ve read things from others who state that you’ll be subjected to more x-rays on the plane than any machine would. I have no idea what’s right so I have to believe the insulin pump companies.

On top of what the pump companies say, Amy’s insulin pump is out of warranty, if it breaks she’ll not get another one until we sign up to another four year contract.

Jane and Amy went through first, mentioning the diabetes kit and insulin pumps to the officer who was well used to dealing with medical issues. I went through and was told to move on and told not to hang around Jane/Amy who were held up with checks. “Whatever you do, don’t let him tell you it’s okay for the pump to go through the full-body scanner” I whispered as I walked off.

A few minutes later I saw Amy in the full body scanner.

The security had bamboozled Jane in the confusion of the situation, easily understandable for us infrequent flyers who are like fishes out of water in situations like that.

My heart sank. Oh crap, that’s one pump down, two backups and two flights to go, I thought.

Well, I hope I’m not going to regret this in the coming days but the pump is still working 24 hours later