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From Marietta, Georgia, USA:

I've returned to the workplace after having been home with my kids. This is my first time working with type I diabetes and an insulin pump. I had an episode today where I started running high at work and I couldn't bolus myself to a normal range. I called the doctor who said I should give myself a subcutaneous injection. I don't carry insulin with me. Fortunately, I was able to leave and get home to get my medicine, use it, get myself on track and return to work. I carry a glucometer, glucose tablets and peanut butter crackers in my purse. Do I now need to carry insulin and syringes as well? What about temperature control of the vial? Should I be carrying extra pump supplies, too?


We recommend that you carry supplies with you any time you will be gone longer than an hour.

You can solve the work issue several different ways. First, you can keep an unopened bottle of insulin at work in the refrigerator. Keep an extra infusion set, as well a cartridge, in a desk (or even a manager's desk). The insulin will keep as long as the expiration date says it will. Be careful of college dorm size refrigerators. They are notorious for freezing insulin!

Second, you can carry your rapid-acting insulin for up to a month at room temperature, so you can carry it in your purse. Insulin used in pumps should be drawn up in the cartridge at room temperature anyway. You can get a 1/3 cc insulin syringe so it will be a very small addition to your purse.

Finally, some people actually use penfill cartridges to draw up their insulin. They are only 300 units, take up less space than a vial and come with five penfills to a box (1500 units versus 1000 for a vial). If you leave one in your purse and accidently get it too hot or cold, you are only wasting 300 units, not 1000.


Original posting 3 Aug 2005
Posted to Other and Daily Care


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