For those with diabetes, having easy access to an emergency kit is critical to protecting their health and safety in case an emergency should arise. Because such a kit can make such a big difference in an emergency, it’s not surprising that it can be stressful to decide what to include in it.
Learn how to properly prepare a diabetes emergency kit with the help of your reliable pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy. If you have any questions about handling an emergency, be sure to ask us here at your local McAllen pharmacy.
What To Include in Your Emergency Kit
1. Create a Medical History and List of Contacts
If a medical emergency arises and you are unable to speak for yourself, it is important to have your medical information and list of emergency contacts on hand for first responders and other health care providers. Here are a few examples of what type of information to prepare:
- The dosage of your medication, what time you take it, and the frequency
- List of other medical conditions you may have, including allergies
- Contact information for your physician and pharmacy
- Information for two or more emergency contacts
How you choose to store this is up to you, but it is highly recommended that you wear a diabetes medical ID bracelet, which can provide meaningful information to first responders once they arrive on the scene.
2. Store a Week’s Worth of Extra Medication
For your safety, it is important to pack at least a week’s worth of your medication in your emergency kit. There will be different medication and supplies for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Here are some examples for each type:
Type 1 Diabetes:
- Clean syringes
- Extra supplies for your insulin pump including, extra reservoirs, infusion sets, and batteries
Type 2 Diabetes:
- Oral or injectable medication
- Extra insulin
- A cold pack and insulated bag if you have refrigerated medication
If you need advice on the proper medication to pack, be sure to consult your McAllen pharmacist. Supplies and medication vary depending on the type of diabetes and its severity.
3. Pack Supplies to Test Your Blood Glucose
A major part of managing diabetes is to monitor your glucose levels on a regular basis. Your body needs blood sugar to function properly and if it drops too low, it could lead to seizures and loss of consciousness.
Here are the supplies you will need to test your blood glucose:
- A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose meter (CGM)
- Extra test strips
- Extra batteries
- Extra sensors
- Pen needles for insulin pen
- Sharps container for needles and syringes
- Alcohol swabs
- Blood sugar readings log
After packing your supplies, make sure that you regularly check and update the contents to ensure you have the proper amount in case of an emergency.
4. Include Methods to Raise Your Glucose Levels
Hypoglycemia happens when you have a sudden drop in your blood sugar levels. If this happens in an emergency situation, you need to have sources of glucose on hand to raise those blood sugar levels. Some options include:
- Over-the-counter glucose tablets (Lift Glucose Chews and ReliOn ™ Glucose Tablets)
- Over-the-counter glucose gel (Insta-Glucose® and Dex4® Glucose Gel)
- Snacks high in carbohydrates that your body can convert into glucose like granola bars, trail mix, and dried fruits.
If you are unsure of what to bring as a source of glucose or how to properly package it, do not hesitate to seek the advice of your pharmacist. They will be able to recommend glucose sources and walk you through the proper ways to use and store them.
5. Pack Extra Water for Rehydrating
Being dehydrated can raise your blood sugar levels, causing a diabetic episode. It is advised that people with diabetes have at least three days worth of water on hand in case of an emergency. The CDC also recommends that you have at least one gallon per person a day at home. For your emergency kit, simply pack two or three 16 ounce water bottles inside; this will be enough water for you to re-hydrate.
For Assistance With Your Diabetes Emergency Kit, Consult Your McAllen Pharmacy!
A diabetes emergency kit can make all the difference in an emergency situation, so it is important that the proper supplies are inside.
If you are not sure what to put in your emergency kit, schedule an appointment with your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy. Our pharmacy staff will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have!