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Airport Scanner Breaks Teen's Insulin Pump

She was told to get scanned despite note from doctor
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2012 11:29 PM CDT
Updated May 9, 2012 4:15 AM CDT
Airport Scanner Breaks Teen's Insulin Pump
Insulin pump makers say full-body scanners can damage software in the devices.   (AP Photo/Medtronics Daibetes)

(Newser) – TSA agents forced a Denver teen to go to through a full-body scanner, which broke her $10,000 insulin pump, according to the girl. Savannah Barry, 16, says she approached agents with a letter from her doctor, and told them about the pump, but she was told to go through the scanner anyway, MSNBC reports. After the screening, Barry felt something was wrong, and called her mother, who contacted the pump's maker and was told the teen needed to take the pump off as soon as she landed because scanners can damage the device's software, interfering with insulin delivery.

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Barry, who had to transition to insulin shots as soon as the flight was over, says her request for a pat-down instead of a scan was refused, but she was patted down anyway after the scan because she was carrying fruit juice to control her blood sugar levels. A staff attorney for the American Diabetic Association says they have had issues with TSA screening for years, and that cases like Barry's "aren't isolated incidences. They are occurring across the country, and we think that a way of ending that is to have better training by TSA," she tells ABC 7. (Read more TSA stories.)

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