When a diabetic travels, there are quite a number of issues and concerns that need to be addressed. Because of the susceptibility to sudden unseen changes in the body, there is always a need to have a first aid kit specifically put together for the needs of a diabetic. The following are the needed items in a diabetes first aid kit.
1) Glucose Meter. This is essential to determine blood glucose levels of a diabetic. While a diabetic would have their own meters, having one in a diabetes first aid kit would help in determining the levels during an emergency;
2) Extra Batteries for the Glucose Meter. Losing power for one's glucose meter would be a bane to any diabetic. Thus, having an extra set of batteries available in the first aid kit would dispense having to source for one in times of dire emergencies;
3) Test Strips. Having extra test strips hand would be helpful if your supply suddenly runs out. Just be sure that the strips are well-within the expiry dates to get a good reading for your sugar levels;
4) Lancets or Lancing Devices. Lancets are used to prick the skin to draw blood to measure the sugar levels. Having extras on hand that are well-kept and sterile can help in managing one's diabetes;
5) Insulin. Insulin is the hormone used to manage sugar levels in a diabetic. The emergency kit may need to have some coolant or ice to make the insulin fresh for use;
6) Syringes or Insulin Pens. Syringes are needed to inject insulin when needed for the diabetic. This can also be done with insulin pens to help control sudden rises when the individual becomes hyperglycemic all of a sudden.
7) Glucagon Kit. When the blood sugar levels suddenly become too low, glucagon is used as an instant delivery medium for much needed blood sugar;
8) Medical Identification. It is best to have some form of identification with an entry stating the one is a diabetic. This is important when in an accident or become unconscious because of sudden swings in blood glucose levels. This may also include a brief medical history of other matters of concern, such as allergies and current medication being used;
9) Band Aids, Gauze and Antiseptics. This is important as diabetics getting wounded present many issues because of their slow healing ability. The antiseptic would clean out the wound from any germs and then immediately covering the open wound with band aid or gauze and tape to prevent any infection from setting.
While the above items may be a handful, being prepared and careful can only help any travel by the diabetes safe and problem free. This may not provide the full medical attention needed for a diabetic in dire situations but having them available can only help to manage the condition until help arrives for a diabetic.
Bobby Castro is the online editor at the Diabetes Forum, where he has published a number of articles about diabetes supplies and many other topics.