FAQ Answer

FAQ Answer

Security scanners - Can medical equipment such as heart pacemakers or insulin pumps be affected by security scanners?

The manufacturers of medical equipment usually have patient support services, available online via the internet or by telephone, and they should be able to give advice on any potential problems that can be caused by airport security screening.

It is also helpful to carry a letter from your doctor confirming that you have been fitted with the medical equipment, whether this is fitted internally or carried on the outside of the body. This should be shown to the security staff, if possible before you go through screening.

Devices made of or containing metal, such as hip replacements or heart pacemakers, may set off the alarm in the arch metal detectors but will not be affected or damaged by them. They may also be seen on whole body scanners, but again should not be affected or damaged.

There are a number of manufacturers of insulin pumps and unfortunately they do not all give the same advice. This varies from assurance that the pumps can safely go through any screening equipment, including X-ray equipment, to advice that the equipment may be affected by even the low-dose X-ray equipment used in some whole body scanners.

If you use an insulin pump, it is therefore important to contact the manufacturer of the particular pump that you use for advice. It is also sensible to contact your airline and the airports you will travel through to find out their requirements if the manufacturer advises that your pump cannot go through some screening equipment.

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At the airport