Traveling with Medical Supplies

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Rebel Diana, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Rebel Diana

    Rebel Diana AH Member

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    I just recently joined AH and have appreciated everyone's encouragement and advice.

    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
    + http://www.diabetes.org/assets/pdfs/know-your-rights/public-accommodations/fact-sheet-tsa.pdf

    - 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.force.com/medtronicdmcom/lifestyle/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! :rolleyes:

    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! :thumb:

    - TSA card: Notification Card | Transportation Security Administration
    - ADA card: http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/disability_notification_cards.pdf
    - MD card: https://medtronicdiabetes.secure.force.com/medtronicdmcom/lifestyle/travel

    I will probably add to this thread, but I thought this would be a good start to inform other travelers who have such an interesting aspect in their lives. :)

    Hope this helps as you travel the world!

    Rebel Diana

    P.S. Let me know if any of the links don't work and I will try PM them to you.
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I am glad you have found some excellent resources and its awesome you have shared them here.
    Great job.
  3. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Be sure to let us know how your hunt goes!!
  4. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    well done you sound as though your right on top of it , im sure that anyone with diabetes will be in your debt for this thread .which will help many more hunters of the globe with out a doubt
    thank you diana the helpful rebel
  5. PeteG

    PeteG AH Enthusiast

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    looks like you are pretty covered and have done all the necessary research.
    Only thing i can add, as we travel up and down southern africa with meds, is to ensure you have a prescription for all the meds.
    Its not always an issue, but there is the odd chance of someone wanting to confiscate the meds.
    Otherwise you are pretty set and hope you have a successful hunt.
  6. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    I have saved your letter in word so if I ever have friends that want to go with Diabetes I'll have some info for them THANKS!!!!!!
  7. Rebel Diana

    Rebel Diana AH Member

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    @ Cliffy,

    I'm not sure your friends will "want to go with diabetes" but I understand what you mean. :)

    I hope it can be of use to you and even to people with a medical condition other than diabetes. Thankfully, the internet is a wonderful resource! I'm thinking of writing of my experiences so other people with a medical aspect in their lives won't feel restricted.
  8. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thank you for the sharing this information with us Diana! Much appreciate the comprehensive post...

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