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Old May 21, 05, 5:23 pm   #1
 
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Steel plate in body - TSA always requires full search

I have a steel plate in my right leg under the skin from an accident several years ago. Every time I go through the security check at the airport the steel bar embedded in my leg sets the machines off and I am pulled out for the full body wanding. Does anyone else have a similar problem or better yet, does anyone have any suggestions on how to avoid this annoyance?

It has never done any good to tell the TSA workers about this ahead of time. The machine beeps or whatever it does when I walk through it and I am pulled aside for the full wanding.
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Old May 21, 05, 8:32 pm   #2
 
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ottakat, welcome to FT! I think your post may be better suited for the Travel Safety/Security forum.

Cheers,
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Old May 21, 05, 9:21 pm   #3
 
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Well, what can they do? If it beeps (and you aren't accidentally forgetting a cellphone) then you get secondary screening.
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Old May 21, 05, 9:22 pm   #4
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I have three plates in my

neck and it depends on the sensitivity of the machines.....never know when or where it will happen. I am going to move this thread over to the security/tsa forum where there are several screeners who read and respond to posts.... and yes...welcom to the FT board and AA
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Old May 21, 05, 9:58 pm   #5
 
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I have had both knees repaced. If I DON"t set it off, it ain't working properly.

When it doesn't I keep my mouth shut I don't want to cause the airport concourse to be evacuated,

I have just learned to live with it.
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Old May 21, 05, 10:51 pm   #6
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Not all metal implants will set off metal detectors. It all depends on the amount of metal and location of the implant. For example, knee replacements will almost always alarm because there's very little tissue between the medical implant and the surface. Certain other implants may not always set the alarm if there's a lot of flesh between the medical implant and the surface.

Bottom line is that we have to resolve each and every alarm. We cannot take anything for granted. The most common way to resolve alarms caused by medical implants is to pat down the area. It's a matter of process of elimination: if we don't feel anything concealed underneath the clothing or don't see anything but bare skin (i.e. knee caps), then we can safely presume that it's the medical implant that caused the alarm.

If you consistently set off the alarm due to your medical implants, then you will always be given secondary screening. One option you always have is to request that the screening be conducted in private. Screeners will honor this request.
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Old May 22, 05, 5:43 am   #7
 
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Since you will always be Selected for Secondary SScreening, you may as well keep you shoes on the entire time.
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Old May 22, 05, 6:27 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AArlington
Since you will always be Selected for Secondary SScreening, you may as well keep you shoes on the entire time.
True. However, it's not a matter of "selecting." It's a matter of alarming the metal detector. We screeners have no choice whenever someone alarms the metal detector. Selectee screening is something else entirely different.
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Old May 22, 05, 7:17 am   #9
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I pity those unfortunate individuals with plates, pins, etc. who will have to go through the new x-ray (rapidscan?) manned by some uneducated, power-hungry TSA screener who thinks he's caught somebody trying to conceal something. And it will happen.

P.S., Bart, your signature does not correlate well with your postings. No criticism intended, just an observation.
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Old May 22, 05, 7:30 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart
True. However, it's not a matter of "selecting." It's a matter of alarming the metal detector. We screeners have no choice whenever someone alarms the metal detector. Selectee screening is something else entirely different.

Result is the same so I agree ... keep the shoes on. I am glad my dear departed mother never had to be subjected to the idiocy the handicapped do at security these days. She was wheelchair bound, deaf and filled with metal.
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Old May 22, 05, 7:38 am   #11
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Originally Posted by red456
P.S., Bart, your signature does not correlate well with your postings. No criticism intended, just an observation.
Thanks. It's my outlook on life. Do the right thing, and if you step on someone else's toes, you can always ask for forgiveness. If you wait for permission, then you are surrendering your authority to make the decision. (Assuming you have legal authority to make that decision in the first place.) It also means that rules are nice, but sometimes they have to be challenged and even broken if it results in a greater good. But, you have to choose your battles wisely and have to accept the fact that with this approach comes lots of butt-chewings by bosses.

I'm in the hot seat right now for a decision I made a couple days ago. My co-workers are supporting me and worried that I may be placed on some sort of suspension or possibly even terminated. Given some of the situations I've been in during my military career, I'm not worried...it's only paper. However, my point is that with this approach must come a willingness to accept the consequences of decisions you make.

Not to sound macho, but once you've had the experience of surviving combat situations, everything else falls into perspective with amazing clarity.
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Old May 22, 05, 7:46 am   #12
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I have a 9" long metal implant in my right thigh - it sets off the metal detector about one in forty screenings.
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Old May 22, 05, 1:22 pm   #13
 
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As to shoe removal....

The minute the walk-thru alarm sounds, I point to my knees, tell the TSA they are metal and am directed to the secondary screening, When seated, if I didn't remove my shoes before the walk-thru, the TSA will frequently tell me to remove them or the eyelets may set off the wand (since that is the only metal in the Sperry leather boat shoes I wear). In either case, they are put on the belt for screening.

Then when the secondary pat down is completed, I must find them, occasionally on a different belt from the one where my carry-on items (including my laptop) are located. Thus I usually simply take my shoes off before walking thru. At least everything will be together as I am rebuckling my pants belt, putting away my laptop and putting on my jacket.

I know the drill and have become resigned to it. Now I do anything to make it a painless and speedy as possible. I feel shoe removal helps. If I am traveling with someone, I tell them what is going to happen and ask them to keep their eyes on my items until the screening is complete.

My attitude toward the TSA people has changed somewhat. I am not being singled out for secondary screening. I am bringing concealed unidentified metal objects through the device which then alarms. I anticipate their moves so they need to say little to me. Most of the time about all that is said is ""I'm going to ....." and "you can lower your arms now'" and finally that they have finished. Some are very friendly; but since I do nothing to provoke them, I have found none belligerant.

Luggage rummagers that act like "dumpster divers" are another matter!
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Old May 22, 05, 3:28 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AArlington
Since you will always be Selected for Secondary SScreening, you may as well keep you shoes on the entire time.
I was thinking the same thing.
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Old May 23, 05, 12:19 am   #15
 
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No steel plates, but I've got a mechanical aortic valve that makes a "tick"ing noise like a clock every time my heart beats. It's not all that loud, but every once in a while someone can hear it over the engine noise.

I don't have any trouble at security, but I tend to get funny looks from the passengers seated around me. Being of Lebanese descent and having a beard only makes the looks I get that much stranger.
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