Scanning devices relied upon

By Karl Strobl
This item appears on page 36 of the August 2014 issue.
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The writer of the letter “Now Carries a Doctor’s Note(May ’14, pg. 43) wanted to know if other travelers with artificial limbs or metal in their bodies carried doctors’ notes verifying the implants.

I’ve had two hip replacements, and after each one I was given a photo ID on which there was a picture of the prosthesis on one side and, on the reverse, my name, my doctor’s name, the date of the surgery and the make and model of the implant.

I carried these cards for a few years but no longer do because agents at airports don’t accept them, as they now rely on new scanning devices. 

I had only one incident in which my prosthesis was questioned; it was in 2004 at the Nairobi, Kenya, airport. The first agent looked at the card and scratched his head numerous times before deciding not to let me pass through. As his English was extremely limited and he obviously couldn’t read the card, I asked him to call his supervisor.

The supervisor had the same reaction, but I was able to explain the card and my surgery to him and he let me pass.

I have never had a note from a doctor and really see no need for it. However, security agents now understand the situation, as they see many travelers with hip and knee replacements in the course of each day.

KARL STROBL

Houston, TX

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

The writer of the letter “Now Carries a Doctor’s Note(May ’14, pg. 43) wanted to know if other travelers with artificial limbs or metal in their bodies carried doctors’ notes verifying the implants.

I’ve had two hip replacements, and after each one I was given a photo ID on which there was a picture of the prosthesis on one side and, on the reverse, my name, my doctor’s name, the date of the surgery and the make and model of the implant.

I carried these cards for a few years but no longer do because agents at airports don’t accept them, as they now rely on new scanning devices. 

I had only one incident in which my prosthesis was questioned; it was in 2004 at the Nairobi, Kenya, airport. The first agent looked at the card and scratched his head numerous times before deciding not to let me pass through. As his English was extremely limited and he obviously couldn’t read the card, I asked him to call his supervisor.

The supervisor had the same reaction, but I was able to explain the card and my surgery to him and he let me pass.

I have never had a note from a doctor and really see no need for it. However, security agents now understand the situation, as they see many travelers with hip and knee replacements in the course of each day.

KARL STROBL

Houston, TX