Traveling with Medical Supplies

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Rebel Diana, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Rebel Diana

    Rebel Diana AH Member

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    Traveling with Medical Supplies

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    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

    Hope this helps as you travel the world!

    Rebel Diana

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