Traveling with an insulin pump from Tandem Diabetes Care

Download a copy of the TSA Travel Letter >

 

Can I take my pump through the full-body scanner or put the pump through the luggage X-ray machine at the airport?

Tandem pumps are designed to withstand common electromagnetic interference from airport metal detectors, but should not be exposed to X-ray screening, including whole-body imaging scanners and baggage X-ray machines. Notify the security agent that your pump should not be exposed to X-rays and request an alternate means of screening. (e.g. pat down or disconnect at site and ask for hand inspection of device.)

When disconnecting, be sure to only disconnect at the infusion site, not at the tubing lock connection. Disconnecting at the tubing lock connection will result in air in your tubing and can compromise insulin delivery.

 

What about other security screening devices?

  • Metal detector: YES. Ok for Tandem Pumps. Notify security agent in advance that you are wearing a pump, since the pump will be detected.
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  • Baggage X-ray machines: NO. Notify the security agent that your pump should not be exposed to X-rays and request an alternate means of screening. (e.g. pat down or disconnect at site and ask for hand inspection of device.)
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  • Full body scanners: NO. Although the newer models of these scanners are not X-rays, we have not tested Tandem pumps with these devices. We recommend requesting an alternate means of screening. (e.g. pat down or disconnect at site and ask for hand inspection of device.) 

 

How do changes in air pressure impact insulin in your pumps (e.g. during air travel)?

Changes in air pressure cause bubbles to form in insulin, and the related expansion can cause unintentional insulin delivery. The pumping mechanism used in Tandem pumps isolates the insulin reservoir (bag) from the user line, so if bubbles are formed in the cartridge due to pressure changes, the internal bag will expand, but no insulin will be delivered to the user from the reservoir.

The only volume in line with the user at any given time is the insulin in their infusion set and cartridge tubing, and the contents of the 0.3 unit Micro-Delivery chamber. Anyone using an insulin pump should always follow the advice of their healthcare provider when traveling to avoid the risk of hyperglycemia / hypoglycemia.

 

Travel Outside the US—Loaner Pump Program

If you will be traveling to areas outside of the US, or where you can’t easily receive shipments, we offer a Travel Loaner Program which allows you to borrow a backup pump for the duration of your trip.

The replacement product must be returned unopened or with an accompanying authorized return number set up in advance with Customer Support. If opened without the appropriate Customer Contact case and authorized return number, you will be charged for the replacement. For more information, give us a call at (877) 801-6901.

 

Can I travel with the unopened Travel Loaner Pump in my checked baggage that goes through the luggage X-ray machine?

Tandem pumps are designed to withstand common electromagnetic interference, including airport security systems, but was not tested for exposure to X-rays, including whole body imaging scanners and airport luggage X-ray machines.

We recommend keeping the Travel Loaner Pump with you during travel, so that you always have access to it if anything should happen to your existing pump, or in case your luggage should get misplaced.

 

What if someone opens my Travel Loaner Pump box to inspect it? Will I have to pay for the pump?

It is important to reseal the box in the exact condition it came in as soon after this occurs as possible to keep the pump protected. If this happens, please let us know when you return the pump.

We will inspect the pump when it is returned to ensure it was not used. As long as there is no sign of usage and the software indicates it was never activated, you will not be charged for the pump.

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