Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
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Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:03 pm

Hello everybody

I have a question I'd really appreciate somebody answering for me. As you may know diabectics taking insulin need to keep their medication cooled at all times. I know that the new security regulations for things allowed in the hand-lugguage make allowances for persons taking medication so that diabetics can take the insulin with them on board. The question is, what about portable cooling packs? Does anybody know if hey're allowed, if it's for the purpose of cooling medication? Or does anybody know what the substance used in such cooling packs is? I'm presuming it's some kind of gel or liquid, in which case theoretically it's not allowed in the cabin.

Thanks for your help!
 
FlySSC
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:22 pm

On board Air France, Diabetic passengers have a special authorization (along with a prescription of course) to keep on board with them their syringes, needles, insulin and cooling packs.

I guess it must be the same on all airlines.
 
ANother
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:02 pm

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As you may know diabectics taking insulin need to keep their medication cooled at all times

Not certain this is correct. Insulin has a life span of around 30 days at room temperature (and much longer when cooled). Many insulin pens have around 8-16 days supply (depending on dosage) The diabetics I know don't have a problem carrying on enough insulin for their journey. One friend has even commented that the Insulin pen is almost all plastic (except for the Insulin, of course) and the actual needle is an insignificant amount of metal. She just sticks her pens in her handbag and has never been challanged by Security.
 
Markhkg
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:34 am

From the TSA website:

"Medication & Special Needs Devices

Please make sure your medications are properly labeled with a professionally printed label identifying the medication and manufacturer's name or pharmaceutical label. The prescription medicine must match the name on the passenger's ticket.

All disability-related equipment, aids, and devices continue to be allowed through security checkpoints once cleared through screening.

For more information on what to expect during security screening, you may want to visit our section written for Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions."

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...l/specialneeds/editorial_1059.shtm
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JohnJ
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:32 am

Our son is diabetic and we've never had any problems going through security. We carry a letter from his doctor with us, but we've never had to use it. He has an insulin pump he wears, and oddly enough it doesn't set off the metal detector. His insulin does not need to be chilled short term (2 weeks or less) - the only insulin we refrigerate is the long-term supply.
 
eraugrad02
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:26 am

I am type 1 diabetic but i'm on a insulin pump. but insulin can last 30 day at room temp. it will be fine.
Desmond MacRae in ILM
 
steeler83
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:46 am

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Does anybody know if hey're allowed, if it's for the purpose of cooling medication?

I have taken my insulin stuff with me on PHL-PIT after the new security measure went into effect, and I am about to do it again. I didn't have any troubles, except that I put the pack in a bag with my Christmas gifts instead of my backpack. The TSA guy asked what it was, assuming it was insulin, so there really was no problem...

Quoting ERAUgrad02 (Reply 5):
I am type 1 diabetic but i'm on a insulin pump. but insulin can last 30 day at room temp.

Join the club, pal. I have had this evil for 22 years of my almost 24 years of living! As far as this lasting a month at room temperature, I would not recommend that. The insulin is not as effective if kept warm...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
EDICHC
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:49 pm

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 6):
Join the club, pal. I have had this evil for 22 years of my almost 24 years of living! As far as this lasting a month at room temperature, I would not recommend that. The insulin is not as effective if kept warm...

Beg to differ, as an RN, it is part of my job to educate newly diagnosed IDDM sufferers. Depending on the type of insulin and manufacturer, insulin can be stored at room temperature (this is defined pharmacologically as below 25 deg Celsius) for anything between 14 and 30 days with no deterioration of effectiveness. Just about all types now last the 30 days.

Regardless of storage conditions (ie refridgerated or not) all vials of insulin should be disposed of within 30 days of opening.

Unless your travel plans involve a stay of over a month there should be no need to carry a cool bag for your insulin when travelling.
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TLG
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:21 am

I am a Type 1 diabetic and I carry my insulin & syringes with me. I don't keep my insulin cool, except for extra bottles which I keep in the refridgerator. I use the bottles in a month or less, which is the shelf life at room temperature. Since the new liquid rules though it is necessary to put the insulin in a clear plastic bag.

-TLG
 
BCAL
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:51 pm

I am also a Type 1 diabetes sufferer and have to have 4-5 injections a day. Provided that you have your prescription with you, the insulin clearly shows your name, and a letter from your GP (although I have not once been asked to produce these to security), there should be no problems in carrying sufficient insulin and accessories for the journey and the first few days of the visit overseas. Although ideally it should be stored in a refrigerator, insulin kept in its cartridge or bottle will remain fine and effective at normal room temperature for a few days, provided that it is not exposed to sunlight or heat, so keeping it in its packaging in a bag is sufficient. The cabin crews are, however, strictly forbidden from storing passengers' insulin in any of the galley's refrigeration units.

I have only once heard of a passenger forbidden to take insulin on the aircraft, and that was because he insisted on taking over 100 syringes plus enough insulin for 3 months use into the cabin.
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steeler83
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:00 am

Quoting EDICHC (Reply 7):

Oh, I was just going by what was written on the prescription, where it says, "keep refrigerated..."

Quoting BCAL (Reply 9):
I have only once heard of a passenger forbidden to take insulin on the aircraft, and that was because he insisted on taking over 100 syringes plus enough insulin for 3 months use into the cabin.

Wow... now a 3 month supply of insulin is a bit rediculous. What is this guy, Mr. Irresponsible? Does this guy break at least 2 viles of insulin on the floor or something?

I really don't keep mine in a refrigerator all the time anyway, but I do try to keep it cold as long as I can. When I go to work at the hotel, I always put it in the refrigerator in the housekeeping office.
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
jbernie
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:20 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 6):
Join the club, pal. I have had this evil for 22 years of my almost 24 years of living! As far as this lasting a month at room temperature, I would not recommend that. The insulin is not as effective if kept warm...

21 years here and counting. Also on an insulin pump.

Overall, I do not try to carry my insulin in any extra coling device. Remove from fridge shortly before leaving and put in fridge at destination upon arrival. No concerns about it. However, if you get more than 1 month supply at a time you need to keep the rest refrigerated anyway so you may as well have all of it in the fridge in safe place.

NOTE: never put your insulin in checked luggage no matter what, if you freeze it then you are up the creek so to speak.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 9):
I have only once heard of a passenger forbidden to take insulin on the aircraft, and that was because he insisted on taking over 100 syringes plus enough insulin for 3 months use into the cabin.

Back in 99 when I moved to the USA from Australia, my doctor helped me get a years worth of insulin and I also bought a good 6 months or more worth of test strips with me. No one questioned anything back then. On the odd occasion: them: Sir, your carry on is too large, me: "i am carrying medical equipment" them: "ok"

When i flew DEN-SYD-DEN for xmas 2005, the security person in DEN wasn't interested, even asked how I liked it. I showed it to them before going through the xray just to be sure they knew. It didnt set anything off.

I got to San Francisco and had all sorts of fun, first part was me forgetting my glasses case in a pocket of my jeans, they went through xray by themselves and were never seen again, then i went through xray again and my pump kept setting of the xray, including the handheld ones, they had a hand held one right next to it and it was going off. I then had the pleasure of it being swabbed for explosives  Smile.

Return trip from Sydney caused no issues.

For travel I have done New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malacca, Japan, USA, UK with out any issues. I always carry a letter from my doctor stating i have a medical condition etc just in case. Admittedly Malaysia was in 88 and was the more nerve racking experience due to the issues with drug trafficing back then and having to carry actual syringes.
 
mcg
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:47 am

23 years for me and never had a problem with insulin or syringes till this summer in KOA. I had about 20 syringes in a plastic bag and the security folks really didn't want me to have "so many" so I had to throw some away. I put 5 in the trash and they happily sent me on my way. Keep in mind the needles on these syringes are less than half-an-inch in length, hard to imagine creating much mischief with these!
 
steeler83
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:50 pm

Quoting Jbernie (Reply 11):
NOTE: never put your insulin in checked luggage no matter what, if you freeze it then you are up the creek so to speak.

So that's why there's a warning label about freezing insulin... Yeah, I think every insulin-taking diabetic knows about that one... or at least they should know...

I am not on the pump yet, BTW. I still take 4 injections daily...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
airways1
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:03 pm

Accidental double post. Sorry.

[Edited 2007-02-27 05:06:34]
 
airways1
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:04 pm

I'm a type 1 diabetic, and in spite of having been questioned a few times (usually at Hong Kong), I've never not been able to take my stuff on board, nor have I ever had to produce a doctor's note, or otherwise prove my insulin and needles are genuinely needed.

Customs at Auckland did say I should have a doctor's note, as they are not supposed to let medication through otherwise, but they still didn't fuss about it.
 
airlineecon
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:12 pm

I was recently diagnosed type 1 (at age 25: I guess I'm lucky it hit me later in life). I've never had a problem going through security, but frequently they very thoroughly inspect my supplies. I get really nervous when the screeners put on the latex gloves and start sticking their hands into my bag. I'm afraid some stray needle may not be capped properly and the screener would get stuck. I carry my used syringes back home with me since its hard to find proper disposal while travelling.
 
N1120A
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:52 pm

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As you may know diabectics taking insulin need to keep their medication cooled at all times.

Frequently, kits come with injectible diabetic medication (Insulin or Byetta) that can be kept in the fridge when at home and keep the medicine below room temperature for several days, and are almost specifically for use when travelling. My mother, who has Type II diabetes, takes Byetta, which requires even more controlled temperature than Insulin, and she has no problem travelling with it.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 16):
I was recently diagnosed type 1 (at age 25: I guess I'm lucky it hit me later in life).

That is beyond odd
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silentbob
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:14 pm

Most of our passengers put it in their checked bags for some reason. Then they get paranoid and some threaten to sue "if" we lose their bag.
 
iairallie
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:17 pm

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 10):
Quoting BCAL (Reply 9):
I have only once heard of a passenger forbidden to take insulin on the aircraft, and that was because he insisted on taking over 100 syringes plus enough insulin for 3 months use into the cabin.

Wow... now a 3 month supply of insulin is a bit rediculous. What is this guy, Mr. Irresponsible? Does this guy break at least 2 viles of insulin on the floor or something?

He probably visited a country where supplies were cheaper and was stocking up. That would explain the unusual quantity. It is also possible he was traveling downline to a country where medical supplies like that are harder to come by.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 16):
get really nervous when the screeners put on the latex gloves and start sticking their hands into my bag. I'm afraid some stray needle may not be capped properly and the screener would get stuck.

You do warn them right? It should go without saying but you never know with some people after all there are idiots who leave their needles in passenger seatback pockets.
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BCAL
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:57 pm

There is a recent thread about a pax refused carriage on a BA flight for carrying insulin but read the whole thread before bashing BA and you will see that the pax was an right pillock and only had himself to blame.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
flyingdoctorwu
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:40 pm

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 16):
I was recently diagnosed type 1 (at age 25: I guess I'm lucky it hit me later in life).

Sounds like MODY aka Mature Onset Diabetes of Youth
My wife and I both carry medications that have to be kept refrigerated but not insulin. We carry a small cooler and somtimes pack the cooler in our packed luggage (so that it is insulated and doesn't freeze) or carry the cooler on. Usually just cold packs is all we pack our meds. Our little cooler is great- it's been all over the world. India, Thailand, Cambodia, Argentina, and now it's looking forward to going to Italy soon!. We haven't gotten any grief what so ever and we don't carry doctor's notes either, though I am a physician....

chris
 
pilatusguy
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:07 pm

7 years and counting here.
I travel very extensively all over the world and never ever had an issue with my Insulin. Always carry a doctors note with me though. The only airport I ALWAYS get pulled aside because of the pen is HKG.

Also never had an issue with frozen insulin so far - admitting that I did put it into checked baggage from time to time.
Just make sure you always have enough insulin with you - I once ran out while in Chicago. Trust me it wasn't easy to get it in a foreign country (and bloody expensive on top of it!)
 
pbiflyer
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:32 am

I travel 2 - 4 times per month with two types of insulin. 1 is in a pen and the other a normal insulin bottle. I carry the bottle in a cool back made by Frio. It does turn into a get to cool, but when I tell the TSA people I am carring insulin, I never have a problem. Only once have I been asked to show them the insulin. Otherwise it goes with my carry on bag through the xray machine with no problems..

By the way, the makeup of insulin changes starting at 28 days and not 30. Only opened bottles should be left a room temperature not to go above 86 degrees. Only unopened bottles must be refrigerated and if not opened, they are good until the expiration date printed on the bottle.
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steeler83
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:38 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 16):
I was recently diagnosed type 1 (at age 25: I guess I'm lucky it hit me later in life).

That is beyond odd

How about being diagnosed with it at one year old??? Usually people who are diagnosed with type 1 are in the adolescence stage, ages 10 to 14 usually... I developed diabetes when I came down with a very bad cold/flu/ whatever... My body must have gone haywire and the antibodies attacked my islet cells in the pancreas, therefore bringing insulin production to a halt. A diabetes research doctor at UPMC Childrens discovered a possible hormone that make people's immune systems to be over agressive to the point where they attack parts of the body. The doctors are trying to develop a vaccine that will pretty much "calm" the immune system so that this does not happen. They also don't want this vaccine to become too strong or... well need I explain if the immune system becomes too lax?

Quoting Iairallie (Reply 19):
He probably visited a country where supplies were cheaper and was stocking up. That would explain the unusual quantity. It is also possible he was traveling downline to a country where medical supplies like that are harder to come by.

And therefore he didn't want to take any risks... Yeah, come to think of it, that would make sense. I am not sure if I would take insulin for that long though... maybe an extra vile and that would be it for me...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
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deltadawg
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:38 am

I have been a Type 1 since 18 years old. Today, I use a pump - for the last 3 years. I still carry my doctor's letter and a copy of my humalog prescription. My understanding is that Humalog is good for around 2-3 weeks at room temperature so long as it is not exposed to prolonged heat.

Now, my medtronic pump has never set off any alarms nor have really been asked about except when a TSA might think it was a pager but when I tell them it is a pump they just say, ok and let me go on.

However, before my pump, about 5-6 months after 9-11 the TSA in ATL asked that I prove I was a diabetic. Even though I showed my doctor's letter and showed them my prescription they asked me to "stick myself with a needle". I refused, stating that it was not time for a shot but they insisted that I was not getting past security unless I stuck myself. I still refused and asked for a supervisor and they explained their side and I mine. The supervisor asked that I stick myslef and I again refused and asked for his supervisor. The supervisor in charge of ATL came to the floor and luckliy for me he had a brother that was a Type 1 and he actually chewed out the man that originally asked me to stick myself.

Also, in case some of the Type 1's did not know it. It is ok and legal for a Type 1 diabetic to take a 8 or 10oz. juice drink through security as it "can be essential for regulating low blood sugar". I found this out several months ago from a TSA agent. However, you cannot take a regular coke or regular soft drink, only a juice product.
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iairallie
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:09 pm

They asked you to stick yourself?!?! That is beyond insane. The TSA truly hires only the best and brightest. Way to stick to your guns. I wish more people would ask for supervisors when mistreated by ignorant agents. I've done it on many occasions myself and usually the supervisors are rational sympathetic and will correct the agent on the spot.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
EDICHC
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RE: Diabetics And The New Security Regulations

Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:08 pm

Quoting Pbiflyer (Reply 23):
By the way, the makeup of insulin changes starting at 28 days and not 30. Only opened bottles should be left a room temperature not to go above 86 degrees. Only unopened bottles must be refrigerated and if not opened, they are good until the expiration date printed on the bottle.

The "once opened" shelf life varies according to type & manufacturer. Though there is increasing standardisation these days, you will find that the majority now state "once opened can be stored below 25 deg C and discard remainder after 30 days" This is based on my professional experience (20 years in UK and NZ, the FDA in the US may have slightly different criteria) and I encounter many different types and brands of insulin every day.

The refrigeration requirements for unopened vials are quite strict also, usually between 2 and 8 deg C, depending on storage time. I would say carriage on a long-haul flight in a cool bag may not maintain this temperature band. I certainly advise my patients against doing this. Quite rightly other posters have stated insulin must NEVER be frozen, so do keep it out of your checked baggage.
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