ONTD Political

Diabetic teen upset with TSA screeners at Salt Lake City Airport

12:48 pm - 05/08/2012
SALT L AKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A Colorado teen is upset with screeners at Salt Lake City International Airport. The type one diabetic says TSA agents were abrupt, rude and were responsible for breaking her $10,000 insulin pump. A pump she has to have to survive.

Savannah Barry is mad and on a mission. She wants travelers to be warned before they walk through TSA security. "They need to get with the program and have some education across the board for TSA." After participating in a DECA conference in Salt Lake City with several classmates last week, Savannah, who is a type one diabetic and wears an insulin pump 24 hours a day, says she ran into TSA agents who were not prepared to deal with her medical situation. "I went up to the lady and I said, I am a type one diabetic. I wear an insulin pump. I showed her the pump. I said, what do you want me to do? I usually do a pat down - what would you recommend?"

Savannah then showed agents a doctor's note explaining that the sensitive insulin pump should not go through the body scanner. She says she was told to go through it anyway. "When someone in a position of authority tells you it is - you think that its right. So, I said, Are you sure I can go through with the pump? It's not going to hurt the pump? And she said no, no you're fine."

The 16-year-old walked into the scanner with some serious reservations "My life is pretty much in their hands when I go through a body scan with my insulin pump on." She was right to be worried. She says the pump stopped working correctly. "Coming off an insulin pump is rough. You never know what is going to happen when you are not on the insulin pump."

She says TSA agents then made the situation worse when they didn't know what to do about her juice and insulin. "She said, because we don't have the machines to scan the juice to make sure this is not an explosive we do have to do a full body pat down and search your through your bags." Of course, that's what she wanted in the first place, but it was too late.

Savannah believes TSA screeners need more training. And she says, until that happens - people with medical conditions need to be warned. "It's unacceptable. And I don't want other people to feel the way I felt."

We asked TSA about the incident. We received an email that says "TSA is reviewing the passenger's screening experience and will respond directly to the family. TSA works regularly with a broad coalition of disability and medical condition advocacy groups to help understand their needs and adapt screening procedures accordingly."
TSA also has a tollfree hotline for passengers with medical conditions. They can call it before hand to find out about policies and procedures. 1-855-787-2227.

Savannah (see picture) already has a new insulin pump. A company that heard her story quickly got it to her when she got back to Colorado.

source

seriously? even WITH documentation they still made her go through
mirhanda 8th-May-2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
Petty dictators that make nothing more secure. They pull aside menstruating women, strip search children and let guns and knives go through.
stereosymbiosis 8th-May-2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
menstruating women?! really? not that I'm surprised, but still D:
evilgmbethy 8th-May-2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
ughhh, how horrible. Thank goodness she was able to get a new pump quickly but she definitely deserves compensation for this BS.
kitanabychoice 8th-May-2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
wow. I am continually amazed by the dumbness that flows from the TSA.
latin_lunatic 8th-May-2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
And this is why I panicked when I had to go through TSA and I don't even use a pump.

It seems the best thing to do is simply be aware of their policies and keep a print out if they refuse to do it. (I have read accounts where they have tried)

If you are concerned or uncomfortable about going through the walk-through metal detector with your insulin pump, notify the Security Officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and would like a full-body pat-down and a visual inspection of your pump instead.

Advise the Security Officer that the insulin pump cannot be removed because it is inserted with a catheter (needle) under the skin.

Advise the Security Officer if you are experiencing low blood sugar and are in need of medical assistance.

You have the option of requesting a visual inspection of your insulin and diabetes associated supplies.


http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/editorial_1374.shtm
crysania4 9th-May-2012 03:00 am (UTC)
Print-outs don't always work. I had a print-out about their policy on things like saline solution (had to be outside the quart-sized bag, could be larger than 3 ounces) and they still confiscated it. It's not on the same level as an insulin pump obviously, but they don't even give a shit about their own policies. They just do what they want to.
spyral_path 8th-May-2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
They read the note that said the insulin pump should not go through the scanner and sent her through anyway, even though she volunteered for a pat down.

I am trying to make sense of this but I just can't. This poor girl's life was put in danger and a $10,000 piece of equipment was destroyed because someone either couldn't read or didn't care. I'm glad I believe that the "terrorist threat" is mostly fear mongering or I'd feel really afraid with idiots like these tasked with keeping the airlines safe.

Edited at 2012-05-08 10:02 pm (UTC)
87_misfit 8th-May-2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
She could have refused the scanner. But yeah TSA need to be trained across the board on how to handle people who have health problems. I've had a nebulizer broken because they man handled it. =\

Edited at 2012-05-08 10:05 pm (UTC)
bmh4d0k3n 8th-May-2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
Photobucket

This is the bullshittiest. I'm so glad I didn't have any problems for my recent trip to New York (though it was tricky figuring out how best to transport a souvenir lighter back home), but then, I'm a white, able-bodied, cisgendered male, so I have relatively little to worry about.
mirhanda 8th-May-2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
Lighters are ok. I used to carry them through all the time, but I quit smoking last year so don't need to carry one anymore. You can't have those jet types, but a bic or a zippo is just fine.
tigerdreams 8th-May-2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
She says TSA agents then made the situation worse when they didn't know what to do about her juice and insulin. "She said, because we don't have the machines to scan the juice to make sure this is not an explosive we do have to do a full body pat down and search your through your bags."

I can't help feeling that we'd all have a safer and more pleasant traveling experience if, instead of spending millions on pornographic imaging scanners, they'd spent that money on a machine that could help TSA agents tell the difference between explosives and juice.

I'm glad that Savannah already has a new pump, at no cost to her, but the TSA should still have to pay for it.
ascendings 8th-May-2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
SERIOUSLY how is it still not possible to be able to distinguish between dangerous chemicals and things like JUICE?
ion_square 8th-May-2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
so are we not allowed to opt out and do the pat down now??
saygoodnight__ 11th-May-2012 03:05 am (UTC)
From what I understand, they're attempting to do away with the pat down. I was accosted by two women when I had to fly back to Georgia for my grandmother's funeral. They kept asking me why I didn't want to go in the scanner, and if I was hiding something. It was so stressful. In the end they made me go through anyway, but not before verbally abusing me while I stand there with no shoes on just taking it.
erunamiryene 8th-May-2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
because we don't have the machines to scan the juice to make sure this is not an explosive

Really want to get your explosive Flame On, but don't want to bother with learning to pilot a jet or join the military?

Get new NAPALM MINIS!

Looks just like orange juice, but BLOWS SHIT UP!
thecityofdis 8th-May-2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
You know what? If every single person who works for the TSA keeled over tomorrow, I'd probably be okay with it.

Fuck these people. Fuck every single one of them.
ms_maree 9th-May-2012 12:20 am (UTC)
It's not the staff, it's the management. They aren't going around happening to just employ the crappiest people on the planet, it's that their management is crap and the crap goes downward.

I've seen places with perfectly great service fall apart because of crap management, same staff - different management, things go to crap.
kira_snugz 9th-May-2012 12:53 am (UTC)
this is completely horrible. my sister wears a pump, and her inurance doesn't cover new pumps. our family fundraised to pay for her last one they are rediculously expensive. if something like this happened to her she'd be screwed.
tsa should pay for the replacement pump.


tsa workers seem to go out of their way to be horrible to people with conditions that means people are normally careful with them. and they do it gleefully.
thecityofdis 9th-May-2012 12:55 am (UTC)
and her inurance doesn't cover new pumps

this is like, it's own post worthy of rage.
moonshaz 9th-May-2012 01:15 am (UTC)
This is pure, unadulterated fuckery of the worst kind. Interfering with a diabetic's insulin supply can be LIFE-THREATENING.

SMH.

spiffynamehere 9th-May-2012 03:31 am (UTC)
YOU GET 'EM, BARNEY.
sankaku_atama 9th-May-2012 01:29 am (UTC)
Savannah believes TSA screeners need more training common sense and human fucking compassion.

Fixed that for you, hon.
crysania4 9th-May-2012 02:58 am (UTC)
And yet one more reason for my partner and I to never fly anywhere (he's Type 1 diabetic and wears a pump AND a constant blood sugar monitor). Thanks TSA!
staticmatrix 9th-May-2012 10:44 am (UTC)
Ugh I recently went through a body scanner (in the UK) and I was so.scared I was gonna be detained or somebody was going to fuck me over because I have an ileostomy... luckily they didn't stop me so maybe they're better at dealing with medical stuff than the TSA but stories like this just give me so much anxiety about travelling.
lee_rowan 9th-May-2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
The so-called "Patriot" act pretty much neutralized the Bill of Rights for travelers. And - BY LAW - there's no appeal or petition for redress. That damned thing needs to be taken out of law.

Hitler got into power legally, too.
madman101 9th-May-2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
tonnes of other info/links at tsa_nightmares
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