Metal Detectors

So I went through the whole pat-down thing at airports for years but got tired of all the hassle and eventually just tried going through the metal detector without mentioning my pacemaker. It didn't beep, so I asked my doctor about it at my next visit and he said that it wasn't a problem. He simply noted that it only faced interference during the moment you pass through, but afterward it was not affected in any way. That said, I have gone through the metal detectors every time at airports, concerts, and other events. I'm just wondering if anyone has some more information on any long term effects of this. Also, I'm not 100% paced so that moment of interference doesn't make me feel faint or anything... it might be dangerous if you are 100% pacer dependent.

Thanks,
Alex


7 Comments

metal detectors

by Tracey_E - 2009-07-10 10:07:26

My doctor also told me that the interference would only be momentary, if at all, and that it's ok to walk through, but we have members here who have walked through and had their pm programming erased. That means missing your flight because you're in an ambulance headed to the nearest hospital with the equipment to put your settings back. You won't be in danger because they have a backup mode, but you won't feel too good either. It's really rare for that to happen, but in my opinion, it's not worth taking the chance.

The detectors at courthouses and concerts are usually set higher and are more likely to go off. I do not walk through those.

I prefer to keep TSA calm . . .

by SaraTB - 2009-07-11 03:07:06

My reservation about trying this out is that the TSA folks are far more 'jumpy' if they have to check you AFTER setting the machine off. They know you've triggered it - they immediately are sensitive to the possibility that you are carrying something illicit, and are thus more terse and potentially unhappy when you tell them you have a PM.

On the other hand, they're always charming to me when I tell them upfront I have a PM, and are always polite and friendly during the pat-down. They know it's a chore for us.

I'd rather keep the TSA folks happy than worry about a few seconds saved by walking through the detector (and potentially setting it off)

Beep beep

by Hot Heart - 2009-07-11 05:07:42

For some reason i always show my card at the airport and go round the outside, but i actually worrk in a prison and go through the scanner every day never set anything off and never felt strange, well no stranger than usual! lol

HH

Advantage of old age memory

by ElectricFrank - 2009-07-11 12:07:21

Funny, every time this comes up I realize I've been doing all the no no's without thinking about it. so far I haven't passed out or set off anything.

frank

if the tsa employee blocks you

by slarnerd - 2009-09-19 12:09:08

My kids have pacemakers and it would be SO MUCH EASIER to just walk through the detector. They have to pat down both kids (3 & 4) and me, since the kids won't go through the side gate alone. We are a real freakshow and the rules seem to be different each time and at each airport. A man for my 3 year old son, sometimes a woman - but they always insist THEY have it right. Then, if one of the kids touch me after one of us have been patted down, sometimes they have to start all over again. So fun. So I did try to walk through the metal detector once, when my son was an infant and he set it off - I said "well he has a pacemaker." The TSA employee started screaming at me loudly, in front of everyone, about how I had endangered my child. PLEASE. Both the EP and Medtronic said it was fine, just not to stand too close to it for too long - just to breeze through it. But that leads me to my concern -- the TSA employee through the detector often seems to block travelers just after they pass through - to have them wait to get their stuff. This is always within the close range of 6 feet that the EP and Medtronic warned about. Have any of you been in this position and did it cause you to feel "funny" at all?

I should add a funny recent travel story that only you paced folks can truly appreciate, especially if you are parents/grandparents of little ones. I was flying alone with my kids and we had a carry-on "Hello Kitty" suitcase that went through x-ray while we were all patted down. They handed me my purse and kept the suitcase, then looked at me very accusingly saying "lady, you've got FIVE hard drives in that suitcase!?!" Well yeah, 2 Leapster games systems, a portable dvd player and 2 Carelink pacemaker phone checkers (covered with stickers). They were so confused by the ecg/phone checkers that they took them completely apart, examined the magnets, and then sent them through xray again, by themselves! So think of me when you feel like you are made to take an extra step at the airport! Ha ha. :)

... =] airports!

by NiamhM - 2009-09-26 06:09:35

ok hii =P
I never go through the metal detectors... NEVER!
my friend had a pacemaker and she went through it went off and she was rushed to the first aid place in the airport becaus eshe felt very dizzy!! she was 5 or something but still!!
and like 'denise713' said Who doesn't like feeling SPECIAL!! =P!

detecting presious metals and pacemakers

by hollygrey0221 - 2015-07-08 02:07:15

I have a pacemaker and I like to go hunting for gold and silver with my husband. I have tried to use the detector, but have found myself dizzy and needing a doctor. When we go hunting now I can only use the hand wand. This makes it difficult to be able to enjoy myself. And my husband worries about getting to close to me. That being said.

Does anyone know of any detector that will not affect my pacemaker so I don't have to give up hunting? Please let me know thanks.

You know you're wired when...

Your kids call you Cyborg.

Member Quotes

Hi, I am 47 and have had a pacemaker for 7 months and I’m doing great with it.