TSA Searches Woman’s Feeding Tube
July 23, 2012 by Bryan Nash
A woman flying to a doctor’s appointment had her feeding tube checked for explosives by Transportation Security Administration agents. Melinda Deaton has the 4-inch tube as a result of complications with a gastric bypass surgery.
Deaton was being strip searched when agents noticed the tube.
“When I pulled my shirt out and they catch a glimpse of it, they go ‘Ugh!’” Deaton recalled.
Her husband, John Deaton, believes that the handling of the tube could have given his wife a fatal infection.
They had physically stripped her and saw the tube coming out of her stomach, and they decided that they needed to check it for explosives, so they had to physically handle the tube. Any time you put a harsh substance on it, you run the risk of contamination. They put stuff on there that we don’t know what it is. She has a weak immune system as part of her medical condition and it can be very fatal to her.
TSA agents also threw away Deaton’s pudding and applesauce, soft foods that Deaton has to eat.
Deaton travels with a USB drive that contains information about her medical condition. This is the first time that agents have harassed her.
TSA issued this statement: “In this specific incident, an investigation was initiated and it was determined that the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) followed standard operating procedures conducted in the presence of a Supervisor TSO. We take the professionalism of our workforce and the integrity of our security procedures very seriously and will address any alleged issues directly with the passenger.”
TSA also said: “We respect the right to privacy of the passenger in question and will reach out directly to her.”