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[IP] Pausing the pump in airplanes
I spoke to my husband who is an experienced pilot and a
computer/electronic engineer. He said that it is a valid concern when
you have devices in the airplane that would give off electro-magnetic
radiation. Anything that has a microprocessor, a clock and a crystal,
etc. will radiate if not completely shielded.
Devices designed to transmit are worse than devices that are just
receivers or computers or whatever. The critical times are during take
off and landing and mostly landing when the instruments in the cockpit
would be receiving signals from the ground.
But the insulin pump, the pace maker, and an ordinary wrist watch are
all in the same category of device and might be about the same as far as
the amount of radiation they would give off. Contrast them with a cell
phone whose purpose is to transmit.
Also, keep in mind that some pumps like the MiniMed 508 have that little
key chain transmitter that you would probably not want to use during
take off and landing because that *is* designed to transmit.
I don't think there is any way to stop the pump without removing the
batteries, because the electronics inside are still going to be running,
it's just not going to be pumping insulin. The microprocessor, clock,
etc. will still be running (which is the cause of the potential
radiation). So being asked to PAUSE the pump, doesn't really make any
sense. And people as far as I know are not being asked to take the
batteries out of their wrist watches. So if they *really* wanted to
clean up the electrical noise in the cabin they would have to insist
that everybody remove the batteries from their electronic watches. 8-)
He also said the electronics in the cockpit and the antennas on the
outside of the plane are somewhat shielded from the cabin due to the
airplane skin as far as electronic radiation.
Someone should write to MiniMed and other pump companies to clear this
up I think.
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