Does Hot Weather + Cool Insulin = Recipe for Holiday Disaster?

Travelling so far away from home on holiday and for a length of ten days, getting my medication in order and preparing to have enough whilst I was away, was very important. So as soon as the holiday was booked and I could be sure of the travel dates, I started contacting my diabetes specialists to get my prescriptions organised. I contacted my pump manufacturer to get more consumable supplies, and I went to visit my local supermarket, to stock up on dextrose tablets. But there was one big question on my mind- How will I keep my insulin cool in a hot country?

For those who may not be aware, insulin has to be kept at a cool temperature especially when it's being stored. When I'm at home it's stored in the fridge, until it needs to be used. It also can't be taken in and out of the fridge. So by taking it out of the fridge to travel with, I still ran the risk of it spoiling before I could get it into a fridge the other end. We did try and find out whether there would be a fridge available in the hotel too before we went. But unfortunately there was no response, which meant I needed a solution for that possibility too. I was unfortunate enough to experience insulin spoiling when I went away with IDF Europe last year, from when my pump/insulin overheated whilst on the beach. My blood sugars shot up at a rate of knots, so I definitely wanted to avoid that outcome!

Giving the problem some thought I remembered coming across Frio packs in the past. Designed for everyday use, Frio insulin wallets are an evaporative cooling unit purposely designed to keep temperature sensitive medications such as insulin, cool for a minimum of 45 hours even in temperatures as high as 37.5 degrees. After having a look on the Frio website and deciding which sizes I wanted (as they come in small, medium, large etc) I decided to pop down to my local Boots store so I could have a look at them in the real-life as it were. I decided on a small insulin pen sized wallet and a large one that I thought would be good to carry the rest of my insulin vials.

The day I was travelling- after reading the instructions, I submerged the wallets in cold water and followed the recommended submergence time. I actually found that the wallets needed a little longer in the water this first initial activation. But after being removed from the water I then placed them on a paper towel for the excess moisture to drip off, before inserting my insulin and packing them in a cooler bag. I have to say that they were absolutely fantastic! Although I did have to remove the insulin for a few seconds going through customs before boarding the plan. The Frio wallets stayed cool until after I'd arrived in Miami, although I didn't extend the 45 hour recommended usage. But when I needed to use them again, I just repeated the process of submerging the wallets to re-activate the cooling crystals inside, before I headed out on my adventures. They were easy to transport everywhere and I didn't have a single problem with insulin spoiling. Which resulted in getting all of my medication back home safely, when the holiday was over too. Cool!


Post a Comment


Meet The Author

My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

Twitter Updates