Insulin Pumps and Airport Security

January 22, 2010

I’m just back from a  fairly long international trip, and thought I would share some of my experiences traveling with an insulin pump.

As I had an incredible number of connections during my flight, I had to go through Airport security a number of times. As I went through security the first time, I though I would save myself the inconvenience and take the pump off and put it through the metal detector. Despite the fear of some people that X-Rays may damage the device, the reality is that there is nothing magnetic in tha X-Ray machine, and I’ve been assured that puting the pump through it will not damage it.

After my second connection in San Francisco, I was told that taking the pump off was completely unnecesary. The officer said: “Is that an insulin pump?”… “you don’t need to take it off, the machine will not beep for it so you can go straight through with it”. So I decided to do that, after all, taking the pump off was a (very small) inconvenience and great if I could avoid it.

I left it on as I went through security in Newark. Given the temperature outside was welll bellow freezing, we had a significant amount of clothing on. We were asked to put coats and other outerware through the Xray machine. As I ended up with my Jeans and T-shirt I was asked by an officer again if that thing in my belt was an insulin pump. “Yep” I replied and then I proceeded to go through the metal detector, which as promised, did not alarm.

But thing had not ended just yet. I was then instructed to step into a flexyglass cabin for a manual inspection. As I asked what prompted the different process I was told that “We need to do an extra check because you are wearing an insulin pump”.  Ten minutes later we where in our way, a bit disappointed that things did not go as smoothly as I expected.

So I made a decision. For the rest of the trip (another 6 or 7 flights) I disconnected my pump and put it in the little tray with the rest of my electronics. After all, pumps can be disconnected for up to a couple of hours, and pumps consumables don’t even show-up on the X-rays



Pro-baseball player Dave Hollins tells his diabetes story

January 15, 2010

Baseball player Dave Hollins is shares his story of being diagnosed with Type 1 during his professional career. He shares his first experience with going on insulin and how the earlier versions of a pump where not right for him. Today, Dave is in great health and uses an insulin pump to manage his diabetes.


Patch pump is finally here

January 2, 2010

The Melbourne, Australia based company Phosphagenics have finally annouced the first set of human trials for its TPM/insulin patch pump.

Ina press release published by the company, they indicate that a human trial has already completed proving the basic technology can deliver insulin to people with Type 1 diabetes.

According to Dr Esra Ogru, COO, the ability of the Phosphagenics’ TPM technology to deliver large proteins, such as insulin, through the skin and into the blood stream “has potential to reduce the number of invasive injections per day,” she said. “Our aim is to provide a basal level of insulin to people with diabetes over a sustained period. Currently basal levels of insulin are provided by injections. Basal insulin is the fastest growing segment of the insulin market.”

I can only hope that this time we actually get beyond the research and into a final product. We seem to have heard too many times that this type of technology is about to get into the market but we are still waiting.