Traveling with Medical Supplies
I have Type 1 diabetes and I will be taking a safari in June with my dad to Zimbabwe. As one would expect, I was apprehensive about all the prep it would take to travel with my medical supplies. However, I have come across several sites that explain the process very clearly and I have posted them below.
In regard to getting through security at the airport, obviously I won't know anything for sure until I actually go through it, but I've included a few sites explaining how to pack medical supplies and how TSA and Delta airline (which is who we're flying with) deals with meds. I will be contacting both the airline and TSA Cares Help Line before the trip to explain what I will be bringing and to find out more about their procedures.
- Flying and Diabetes:
+ Flying and Diabetes
+ Diabetes And Time Zone Crossing
- Traveling Tips:
+ Tips to Trip By | Diabetes Forecast Magazine
- Air Travel Fact Sheet:
+ Air Travel and Diabetes - American Diabetes Association
- TSA info:
+ What to Expect If a Passenger Needs Medication | Transportation Security Administration
+ Medically Necessary Liquids | Transportation Security Administration
+ Passengers with Diabetes | Transportation Security Administration
+ External Medical Devices | Transportation Security Administration
- TSA Cares Help Line:
+ Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions | Transportation Security Administration
- Delta Airline info:
+ Disabled Travel | Travel Needs | Delta Air Lines
I wear a Medtronic Paradigm 522 insulin pump and use a OneTouch Ultra 2 testing meter and I wasn't sure whether these could go through the security devices. After talking with customer service at both companies I have learned that the Pump CAN
pass through a walk-thru metal detector as well as undergo the metal detector wand. The Pump CANNOT
go through the conveyor x-ray machine or pass through the Body Image Scanner. Apparently the Testing Meter CAN
pass through all security checks, based on customer service advice. BUT
I think I will keep both electronic devices separate and have them visual inspected or just pass through the metal detector, to make absolutely sure that they don't have problems. Equipment Interference
Because I will be gone for nearly 3 weeks, I have to bring a lot of extras so I don't run out. I had planned just to have my insulin pump and then bring syringes in case the pump malfunctioned, but after talking to customer service at Medtronic, I learned that they offer a travel loaner pump for only $50, available for 90 days! I will definitely be taking advantage of that feature! https://medtronicdiabetes.secure.for...festyle/travel
In regard to packing, I am taking ALL my medical supplies on the plane with me in a duffel bag. I am NOT going to run the risk of losing something in a check bag or have it possibly tampered with. Because I will be taking syringes and other pokey things, I will have to have prescriptions for all my supplies so the TSA doesn't think I am planning to inject everyone on the plane with insulin or something worse!
My insulin has to be kept cold, so I have been researching convenient and economical ways to do so. I have found a very cool (pun intended) way to store my insulin. It's called a FRIO insulin cooling wallet. Apparently there are crystals, contained in the panels of the wallet, which expand and turn into a gel when soaked in water. Once a gel, air reacts with it and starts an evaporation process which cools the contents and keeps them cool for a minimum of 45 hours. These can be bought off the FRIO site, eBay, and here: FRIO Diabetic Insulin Cooling Cases Buy From Our Authorized US Distributor
TSA, American Diabetes Association, and Medtronic Diabetes have a medical device notification card that can be filled out and shown to the airline or TSA official to prove that your medical device is necessary and prescribed. I might just print all three so I definitely won't have a problem!
- TSA card: Notification Card | Transportation Security Administration
- ADA card: http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/fil...tion_cards.pdf
- MD card: https://medtronicdiabetes.secure.for...festyle/travel
Hope this helps as you travel the world!