Monday, June 10, 2013

OmniPod: Airports

I thought I'd post what has been my experience with getting through airport security now that I'm wearing the OmniPod.  The same exact procedure played out in the following airports: Minneapolis, Raleigh and Nashville, so I'm fairly certain it's happening this way at many airports across the country.

Personally, I choose to not announce to TSA that I am wearing medical devices.  My personal approach to getting through security is as follows:


-Place both my DexCom receiver and OmniPod PDM in the tray along with all my other belongings

-Say nothing to TSA
-Proceed through either metal detector or full body scan like everyone else

The Results:


If going through old school medical detector - neither the DexCom sensor or OmniPod gets picked up and I continue on as if nothing occurred.


If going through full body scanner (the one where you stand with feet spread and arms up as a thing whirls around your body) - the DexCom sensor never gets picked up, however, the OmniPod (and I'm wearing the new, smaller pods) does register on their computer screen.


After getting out of the machine I will tell TSA I have diabetes and I am wearing an insulin pump.  The TSA agent then immediately walks me over to a device that tests the pump to make sure it's not a bomb.  This test is performed by first having me touch the pod with my bare hand.  Then the TSA agent wipes my hand with a dry, white, small square piece of cloth.  This cloth is then put into a machine and about 30 seconds later a message will pop up on the screen saying "not an explosive" <---thankfully, this has always been the result.  I am then free to go back and get my belongings off the belt.  This entire experience takes less than 5 minutes.


If you've not flown with the OmniPod, just be prepared that this might happen to you, but it's no big deal (to me, at least).

8 comments:

  1. Something I really like about you today is that you said "dry, white, small square" about the cloth. Am I overly emotional? It feels like love. You know the person/person's child might be nervous, but when they see the small white square they'll know it will be dry and fast because they read this and they will feel all loved and supported.

    I would probably also get weepy over a yogurt commercial today.

    Regardless---thank you for being how you are!

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    1. I needed to hear that someone thinks I'm a nice person today, so thank you. I actually contemplated deleting that and just writing "a cloth", but then I thought, "no, I would want to know exactly what the hell they were going to do". I'm glad someone else also appreciates my attention to detail.

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    2. you're nice today too!

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  2. I wear the Medtronic pump and the description you give is the same for me. Only once did the TSA agent tell me I did not have to touch my pump as she watched. Her comment was "You touch it all day long, right?"

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  3. Be Aware:
    I was traveling 2 flights a week & having problems with my medtronic pump motor getting frozen/locked up. I was informed by medtronic that the full body scanners are similar to a cat scan where the magnetic field is very high in the body scanner and can freeze the pump.
    If you travel frequently, get TSA pre-approved. You will only go through a metal detector. If not, opt for the pat down and they will do the same explosives test on the omnipod and I do not have to worry about the pod I am wearing



    ReplyDelete
  4. Be Aware:
    I was traveling 2 flights a week & having problems with my medtronic pump motor getting frozen/locked up. I was informed by medtronic that the full body scanners are similar to a cat scan where the magnetic field is very high in the body scanner and can freeze the pump.
    If you travel frequently, get TSA pre-approved. You will only go through a metal detector. If not, opt for the pat down and they will do the same explosives test on the omnipod and I do not have to worry about the pod I am wearing



    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a question about being required to "touch" the OmniPod for the TSA agent. I am a female who wears my OmniPod either on my abdomen or hip. How am I going to "touch" it without raising my blouse or lowering my pants and exposing skin in front of everyone?

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    Replies
    1. I'd make sure to not put a pod on your hip/leg if you know you're traveling. At least if it's on your stomach you can just "pull" the shirt out and reach under the shirt to touch it without ever exposing skin to anyone. I've never had to pull my shirt up to show the agent, they just want me to reach under the shirt to touch it, if that makes sense.

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