Posts Tagged ‘TSA’

  • Infection Control at TSA: Individual’s Responsibility?


    I had an initial discussion today with a representative from The Travelers Department at the Centers for Disease Control. I introduced myself as a practicing RN who is very compliant with infection control procedures, but I’m very concerned about the lack of infection control precautions taken by TSA agents conducting physical “pat down” security searches.

    The representative, Lisa, advised that the individual going through security should request that the TSA agent change their gloves before performing the “pat down” search procedure if the gloves have not been changed.

    This is troubling to say the least.

    She did offer an email address to direct any questions or comments about TSA security search procedures.

    I will be determining if physician organizations concerned with infectious disease control have or are planning on weighing in on this potentially serious public health threat and will update you here.

  • TSA Pat Downs Pose Threat to Public Health


    TSA security measures at our nation’s airports have received a lot of attention lately, with many decrying the loss of privacy and humiliating body searches required to fly these days. Add one more reason to reassess the TSA pat down procedures: Public Health.

    The TSA “full body search” screenings the “front of the hand” of TSA agents involved in touching of groin areas, crevices of the body, and unfortunately, touching of skin and secretions of the body. TSA agents use disposable gloves — a good infection-control technique — but do they change out their gloves between each search? How many passengers are searched using the same gloves? Are the gloves used to protect the agent or both the agent and passengers?

    Having practiced nursing and infection control, gloves must be changed between each passenger search along with the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The spread of numerous organisms is at play, but I have not seen these questions raised by the CDC, the AMA, infection control practitioners or any one else.

    We need to review and update TSA policies and procedures ASAP to adequately protect of public, passengers and TSA agents. The recent outrages have brought national attention to TSA body searches. Let’s hope that attention also raises enough concern over the public health threats they pose to force a change.