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Flying With Needles and Meds Can Raise Security Flags
Date:4/22/2010

But experts say ways exist to ease travel for those with chronic illness or disability

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Adjusting to the necessary, but seemingly ever-changing security rules when traveling can be tough for anyone, but for someone traveling with a bagful of needles and vials of insulin or someone who's had a hip or knee replaced, the journey can be fraught with extra worry.

But Ann Davis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency responsible for ensuring the safety of the U.S. skies, says that travelers with chronic conditions need not be concerned.

Davis said that TSA officers are well-trained and familiar with the odd baggage or screening requirements that may come with certain medical conditions. What's most important, she noted, is that you let the screeners know what medical condition you have.

"We have screening procedures to make sure that everything and everyone is screened properly," Davis said. For example, she said, people with pacemakers or implanted cardiac defibrillators shouldn't go through the metal detectors, but if they notify the TSA officers, there are other ways for them to be screened.

Davis said that the TSA doesn't require a doctor's note verifying a medical condition, but that it doesn't hurt to have one. However, she said, it is recommended that people with pacemakers carry a pacemaker ID card that they can get from their doctors.

She also advised keeping drugs, particularly liquid medications, in the original packaging with the label that shows your name, if it's a prescription medication. But, she said, that's not a requirement, either.

The TSA recently launched what it's calling "self-select" lanes, including one for families with small children and people with medical issues. Davis said that this is the lane people should definitely be in if they need to carry with them liquids, such as
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