Diabetes and air travel: Ensuring security, promoting dignity

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Abstract

University of East Anglia child health nursing lecturer Katie McGhee has responded to a letter published in International Airport Review.

Sent by Rachel Humphrey, from Hampshire, the letter describes how she, her husband and their 14-yearold son, who has diabetes, were held for two hours at Dubai International Airport last June after they declined to disconnect their son’s insulin pump or allow it to be X-rayed. Previously they had been allowed through security with a wand inspection.

Ms McGhee says that there is debate on whether travellers with diabetes should detach and show their pumps to security personnel or wait to be questioned after the pumps set off metal detector alarms.

The pumps should not be exposed to total body scanners or X-rays because they can damage the pumps’ electronics and cause malfunctions, affecting insulin delivery.

‘The risk of increased stress for people with insulin pumps at airport security departments and the potential for subsequent life-threatening emergencies require urgent airport authority attention,’ she says in an article in the journal.

Dubai Airport’s executive vice president of operations has promised to reinforce procedures with staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13
JournalNursing Children and Young People
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2017

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