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Keeping Insulin Cold on Air Travel Days

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#1
LisaTypeI

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Hi all, my husband and I take several long plane trips per year, usually to warm climates (Hawaii, St. John) and I was wondering with the new TSA regulations, how folks are keeping their insulin cold on travel days that can last 12-13 hours? Once we reach our destination it's not a problem as I always make sure we have a fridge. But, I used to carry my insulin in a small cooler with a small frozen liquid pack in it. Now, I assume I cannot do that. There is even a specific travel carrier that is designed to transport insulin, but again, it has a frozen liquid pack. Often, by the end of our trip I begin to feel like my insulin has lost it's potency. I do travel with spare prescriptions but this is very frustrating. Any advice?

Oh, one more thing. I have a pump so I am using Novolog.

#2
poodlebone

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What about a Frio wallet? They do contain a gel but I think there are exceptions for transporting medications. Your cooler with a freezer pack would probably be allowed as well since it's for medication.
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#3
kvnkrby

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I have carried a small cooler with insulin and frozen gel packs through security several times with no problems. Most of the time they do not even open it for inspection but I have been asked about it a couple of times.
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#4
aggie168

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Hello LisaTypeI,

I second those FRIO cooler thing. I also use Novolog. On my last oversea trip, I just bring a spare bottle and start the 2X days countdown when I pull it out from the fridge. I did not even bother with the cooler thing. It works out OK.

Yes, airport security may look at it twice and want to x-ray the stuff. I let them do that if asked. Only a couple of them visually "inspect" my insulin pump once I told them what it is. Other than that, they treat it very routine.

I hate those long trip. Takes up to 30 hours each way ;)

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DX 02/2002, Minimed 530G(751) w/CGMS on Humalog
Aspirin 81mg + Lipitor 10mg + Losartan 50mg

05/2014 A1C 5.8 Chol=154 Trig=96 HDL=48 LDL=87


#5
notme

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Insulin can easily travel without being refridgerated on a plane. If it is an unopened vial, you can safely carry your insulin in a carry on bag and refrigerate it when you get to your destination. If you are really concerned, buy a cold water bottle when you go through security and place your insulin next to the cold water.

I also use a pump and travel long distances often. Never a problem. ;)
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#6
MJM

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I've always used a Frio pack and I've never had a problem.
I want to die young at a ripe old age.T1 52 years

#7
ramon

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Shouldn't really be a problem as long as its room temp. I keep my insulin on my computer desk for up to 2 weeks and it still works fine. Most airplane cabins run a temp of 75deg so it should be ok. Enjoy your trips, wish I was going with you.:)

#8
Scratch

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I don't bother. I just carry it with me in my bag. No problems yet so far that I can tell with insulin losing potency.
MDI, Lantus and Novolog
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#9
LisaTypeI

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Thanks folks for all the helpful suggestions. Just looked up the frio wallet and am definitely going to get one of those. I also did not know that I can take my cooler and gelpack on the plane. Thanks again.

#10
NursinGeek

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Thanks folks for all the helpful suggestions. Just looked up the frio wallet and am definitely going to get one of those. I also did not know that I can take my cooler and gelpack on the plane. Thanks again.


Yup, I recently traveled with my insulin pens, needles, lancets, etc with me on my carry on. They took out my freezer pack and raised an eyebrow once and I just said "It's for my insulin" and he saw it and was like "Oh yea, oh, okay" and we went on with our business. Safe travels. =]

RN4EVA!


Diagnosed: Jan 13, 2010
A1C: Jan'10--6.2%, Jun'10--7.2%, Sept'10--7.4%, Dec'10, 6.4%
Insulin: Pumping with a PINK Medtronic Mini Revel 530 - Novolog

Mental Status: Acceptance

#11
DeusXM

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Insulin can be kept at least at room temp for up to 28 days before it goes wrong. You don't need any additional cooling for a 12 hour flight. I used to carry around a pen in my pocket for up to two weeks in 50C heat without any problems.

#12
Joeprep4820

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Insulin can be kept at room temperature, or even a bit higher, for a good period of time with no negative effects. Just look at pumpers; we keep a good amount of insulin, which is being fed into out bodies constantly, in vials in pumps very close to our bodies, and it leads to no negative side effects. If a pumper can do this for 2-4 days at a time, 18 ours of travel shouldn't have an ill effect.
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#13
Kelly_anne

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i keep my insulin in a mini PackIT its a freezable cooler that you put in the freezer take it out in the morning and just pack whatever needs to stay cool. it works great!

#14
arealgijoe

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From what I hear gel pack that are clearly LABELED as such are easier to get thru TSA than unlabeled cooling items, I expect the Frio should be no problem as well. I have a little kit I have used for years for carry of insulins and other supplies. It has its own small get pack that fits in one compartment. Kinda handy.

CAUTION: Any thing that is frozen, gel pack or otherwise, need to insulated a little from the insulin to prevent your insulin from freezing.

Gomer Sir Falls-A-Lot

#15
jenb

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...But, I used to carry my insulin in a small cooler with a small frozen liquid pack in it. Now, I assume I cannot do that. There is even a specific travel carrier that is designed to transport insulin, but again, it has a frozen liquid pack...


I do the same thing and haven't had any trouble. I let the TSA agents know that I'm carrying my diabetes kit and ask if they want to hand check it - so far no one's been interested.

Jen

#16
Subby

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Insulin can be kept at least at room temp for up to 28 days before it goes wrong. You don't need any additional cooling for a 12 hour flight. I used to carry around a pen in my pocket for up to two weeks in 50C heat without any problems.


Ancient message, but it struck my how different our experiences can be. When I was pumping and so had my insulin in my pocket for 3-5 days, I found during 40c heatwaves it seemed to lose potency in a few days, enough for me to need to push through a great deal more to get the same effect. Of course I'd double check immediately with fresh insulin, which would work as per normal.

There's always user error or misperception with things like the effect of insulin, but I guess there are also other factors that may mean significant variation like how long in direct light, how long in direct heat, what the insulin is kept in (I think this might be a biggie), and variations in the preservatives in different insulin preparations. And maybe another handful of factors, it could even be that some people's bodies don't mind slightly compromised insulin, and others do.
20 years T1. NPH and Novorapid.
Some essentials for my blood sugar control: dosing via i:c ratio and cf • basal testing when needed • daily 40 minutes moderate exercise (or close) • carbs somewhere below 120g currently • only eating carbs and carb/fat combos that do not cause a problem spike, with or without insulin.

#17
arealgijoe

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Subby......"When I was pumping and so had my insulin in my pocket for 3-5 days, I found during 40c heatwaves it seemed to lose potency in a few days, enough for me to need to push through a great deal more to get the same effect."

Another variance could be how close or how insulated the insulin is from BODY HEAT. I am not a pumper (yet, sad) but seems to me where the pump is worn AND whether the insulin is closer to the body one way than another.

I thin the better the insulins is insulated from ANY HEAT source, body or environment the better or longer it might last. JMO (just my opinion)

I was wearing my Lantus in a camera case on my belt. I have noticed my Lantus changing my numbers after 29-30 days. I have tried with success adding a unit or 2 after the 28+ days, but now I am keeping my in use vial in a cool spot in the room (not the frig) to see if I can get more days per vial. I waste a fair amount of Lantus a month, more than I would like. One of the penalties of not being insulin resistant.

Gomer :) Sir Falls-A-Lot




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