October 11, 2016 – Airport Scanners


Anchor lead:  Having certain medical conditions can complicate routine airport security scans, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you have one of a number of different medical conditions, a lengthy process through airport security might result.  That’s according to case reports identified recently by Mahadevappa Mahesh, chief physicist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and colleagues.

Mahesh: Recently is was brought to attention that a couple of passengers, airport travelers have encountered some embarrassing situations when they go through airport scanners. :09

Mahesh says these are fairly common conditions.

Mahesh: Some travelers have some cyst or some growth on their body which can trigger the airport scanner that it is something suspicious.  One such case was a traveler with an inguinal hernia, which is an extra growth in the groin region, so automatically the airport scanners picked that up and considered it very suspicious.  :21

Mahesh says some appliances such as colostomy bags can also trigger suspicious scans, so people with such conditions should bring along a note from their doctor while traveling.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.