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External Medical Devices

Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

Passengers who have medical devices attached to their bodies, such as bone growth stimulators, spinal stimulators, neurostimulators, ports, feeding tubes, or other devices should inform the officer conducting the screening of the device and where it is located before the screening process begins. Passengers can use TSA’s Notification Card to communicate discreetly with security officers. However, showing this card or other medical documentation will not exempt a passenger from additional screening when necessary.

If a passenger can safely disconnect from the device, he or she can submit it for X-ray screening. If a passenger is concerned about how X-ray screening will affect the devices or cannot disconnect from the device, he or she can be screened without disconnecting. The type of screening conducted if a passenger cannot disconnect from the device will depend on the type of device and the passenger’s abilities. Passengers should consult with the manufacturer of the device to determine whether it can pass through a metal detector or be subject to imaging technology screening.

If a passenger cannot or chooses not to be screened by imaging technology or a walk-through metal detector, the passenger will be screened using a thorough patdown procedure. A patdown procedure is also used to resolve any alarms of a metal detector or anomalies identified by imaging technology.

Regardless of the screening method used, the device will undergo additional screening. This may include, a patdown of the device followed by testing for traces of explosives. Devices in sensitive areas are also subject to careful and gentle inspection.


Please click on the links below for specific information about screening for passengers with disabilities or medical conditions:

Latest revision: 24 April 2014