When it comes to living with a progressive lifestyle disease like diabetes, preparing for the worst case scenario is not being pessimistic. It is in fact being smart. Preparing in advance for the possible emergency situation which may occur without prior warning is always better than facing health complications later on.
Diabetics need to be vary of even the slightest risk of developing infections, cuts and bruises or weather related complications which may turn into serious health complications. Having someone to look after you in such conditions is of course a blessing. However, there are moments when you as a diabetic are alone and have to take quick actions to overcome the emergency within time to prevent it from overpowering you. A well-prepared diabetes emergency kit is the ultimate support in such times.
Diabetes Emergency Kit: Checklist of Items
A combination of items, documentation and few life hack tips will help you sail through any diabetes related emergency in your local area or even away from your native country.
- Personal Use Items for the Kit
- Diabetes Supplies – lancets, glucometer, syringes, insulin stored at required temperature (both short and long acting insulin), test strips, other prescribed supplies.
- Cold Pack or Insulated Bag – to keep medication cool, in case of no power supply or when travelling.
- Water – a gallon of water for an individual’s needs like drinking, washing, cooking, and cleaning/hygiene.
- Food – fibre rich snacks to help you feel full for long, healthy eateries, non-perishable items rich in glucose like fruit juice, glucose tablets (for dealing with hypoglycemia emergencies).
- Sanitation and Personal Hygiene Items – Soap, toilet paper, and toothbrush to help you stay hygienic in absence of basic sanitation facilities.
- First Aid Items – band-aids, prescribed pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medicines, anti-biotic ointments, etc.
- Alcohol Wipes
- Glucagon Kit
- Ketone Strips
- Whistle to signal for help in emergency
- Emergency blanket
- Dust masks and gloves for added precaution in hostile environment while travelling.
- Mobile phone with charger and extra battery charger if you don’t have electricity.
- Documents Identifying Diabetic Condition
- Medical ID – bracelets/necklace or hand bands to identify yourself as a diabetic.
- Doctor’s Papers – prescription of medicines, diet and other advices along with your brief blood sugar history.
- Written Medical Information – create a comprehensive guide to your medical care in the event you are unable to care for yourself or require assistance. Describe your condition, treatment, medication list, medical care team, and dosing regimen.
- Area Map – if you are travelling and in case your GPS has no signal.
- Contact Information – for all family, friends, and everyone on your care team (CDE, Endocrinologist, Podiatrist, Primary Care Doctor).
- Important Documents – binder of important documents including birth certificates, insurance cards, will, and passport.
Customise your Diabetes Emergency Kit to Suit your Needs
Based on your regular needs and possible requirements according to your destination (if travelling) or the environment to which you are being exposed, the kit can be arranged with relevant item included and other items dropped from the same.
Monitoring Regular Blood Glucose Levels
Apart from all these preparations, one task which no diabetic can ignore or compromise with is checking blood sugar levels regularly. Use a compact glucometer to keep a check on your readings and monitor the patterns to make changes in diet and lifestyle.