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Medical Devices & Airport Scanners

by Haddenham Webteam – 18th July 2019
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medical device awareness card

Don't let airport scanners ruin your holiday

If you're travelling by air for a holiday or business trip and need to take a medical device with you, there is a new way to prevent them getting damaged at airport scanners. Getting a Medical Device Awareness Card before you fly could help you keep them safe.

Medical devices such as insulin pumps, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems and freestyle libre (flash glucose monitor) devices should not be exposed to x-ray screening and airport scanners, which can cause potential damage.

The awareness card provides information for both the Security Officer and the passenger. Before going through the airport scanners, passengers should make the Security Officer aware of the device (including spare devices) and ask for an alternative security screening method.

Gill Dunn, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group said "The awareness card is an excellent way to remind patients with an insulin pump or CGM how to prepare for their journey. This includes bringing some medical evidence with them to confirm they use a medical device."

The awareness card has been produced by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and Airport Operators Association. It can be downloaded and printed direct from the CAA website www.caa.co.uk

More information on the Medical Device Awareness Card is available at www.caa.co.uk

Here's what the cards say:


  • Don't forget to bring your medical evidence (e.g. letter from a medical practitioner) to confirm your medical device such as an insulin pump or Continuous Glucose Monitoringsystem (CGMs).
  • Have this ready to show the Security Officer, along with this card.
  • Make the airport Security Officer aware of the device, and exactly what it is and where it is located.
  • If you are carrying a spare medical device, remove it from your cabin bag before the X-ray and let the Security Officer know.
  • And do contact the airport if you have any concerns or queries before you travel: note that screening equipment and processes may differ from airport to airport.
  • Please check with your return airport (if outside the UK) on their arrangements for screening medical devices.

Security Staff:

  • Passengers with a medical device such as an insulin pump or Continuous Glucose Monitoring system (CGMs) should not be screened by a security scanner; if they opt out of this they must be offered an alternative screening method.
  • Passengers must never be asked to remove a medical device from their body for screening.
  • Medical devices (including spare devices) should not go through x-ray machines. Alternative screening processes can be undertaken such as hand search, supported by ETD.
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