I'm buying some diabetes travel supplies for when I travel for work. I'm thinking buying this case to keep all of my supplies in. I want the blue one so it's easily visible. I had my pump supplies in a ZipLoc bag last trip and forgot to put them back in my bag when they emptied it to search. I didn't realize I'd left them until I went to change my pump site that evening. Luckily I had been heading back home and not to a hotel somewhere!
Anyway, that case has a gel pack in the back which is supposed to (I think) keep insulin cool for up to 12 hours. I would like something that keeps it cool for as long as possible. (I won't be in really hot places. I just would like to be able to bring long-acting insulin without having to toss it a month later for being "unrefrigerated", as I usually don't end up using it and only bring it in case of pump failures.)
I was wondering if a Frio would be cold enough to put in that pocket behind where the insulin pens would sit (instead of the gel pack) and keep them cool for longer. Or does it only work if the pens are actually inside the Frio itself? Keeping in mind I won't be going to any desert environments or anything.
I also have an Epipen which is NOT supposed to get too cold (or too hot), so maybe I could stick a Frio with long- and rapid-acting insulin in the area where the gel pack goes, and the epipen and other stuff in the loops on the front. I've never seen this or any other travel case in person so have no idea how big they are for organizing supplies.
That dog is soooooo cute!!!
Does that fridge work on batteries? I don't drive so a car wouldn't be available for power. :(
I don't have a car when I travel but someone usually has one, I never trust a strange ice box at a hotel.
Do you know if that fridge runs on batteries? I saw that several years ago and was going to get one for an Earthquake kit, but I couldn't find anywhere saying it could run on batteries.
Ironically, here is where I find myself wishing they still made 150-unit pen cartridges like they did in the 1990s. It would be easy to just bring one just in case (150 units would last me 5-6 days) and if it wasn't it wouldn't be like throwing away 300 (for the current pen cartridges) or 1000 (for the vials) units.
I think I'll probably talk to my doctor about getting a prescription I can keep on hand and only bring insulin if I'm going on longer trips, etc.
For long travel (such as an international trip) where I carry 2X the normal supplies as well as pen backup for my pump, I use this package which has cold-pack inserts.
It holds pens and vials on one side, next to the gel packs and on the other side it holds
miscellaneous supplies - meter, lancets, alcohol swabs, sharps pocket, etc.
This keeps things chilled until I get to the hotel or ship where I put the extra (unopened vials and pens) in a refrigerator. Probably technically not needed..but sometimes travrel can be through hot areas and it just makes me more comfortable.
PS. I also bring the pen cartridges for my kiddie Novopen. That way I can use them either in a pen or my pump and not waste them. They still seem to be available in the US. They are 300U.
I usually use pen cartridges since I can't measure using a syringe. For Apidra it's not a problem: I keep them in an insulin pen when I first take them out of the fridge, and then use them to fill my pump and replace the one in the pen with a new cartridge from the fridge, so they are never out for more than a a few days to a week. It's more the long-acting insulin, which I would like to (ideally, though sounding like it may not be possible) keep for months at a time before using.
That case you linked to is similar to the one I'm looking at, and I think it uses the same gel packs. I saw a link to one (from the Amazon page you linked to) that had a temperature monitor built in, which I like the idea of, too.
On a similar topic--- does anyone know at what temperature insulin freezes? Or is otherwise damaged by getting too cold? I travel a lot for work. The other day I was in a hotel and put my carry case in the mini fridge. I keep a cheap little keychain thermometer in the case. In the morning it read somewhere around 25 F. That is of course colder than I would have expected the fridge to be, and below the freezing temp of water. The pens didn't appear to be frozen, but I couldn't be sure. They were all brand new pens so I didn't test them with a needle right away to see if they were frozen or not, but visually didn't appear to be. Nonetheless, I set them aside and haven't used them yet. Any thoughts?
When insulin freezes it damages the formulation, most vividly in basal insulin. If you see any crystals or clumping in the insulin, it is clearly bad. Even still, it may have degraded/variable potency and the only way you can discover this is by using it.
I would test them out to see if they work. I think the novolog insert says to store it at under 50 degrees. I read another post where someone mentioned their insulin insert instructions said to keep it between 36 and 46 degrees and they thought that insulin freezes at a lower temp than water, which is why it is ok to store it near ice. I'm not sure if this is true or not but I did have mine in a fridge/cooler with ice and it didn't freeze as far as I know.
I have a large frio and I carry my insulin in it all the time. In the summer and winter. It is cold to the touch, mine is anyway... you let it sit in water for a set time, it swells up and then it is cold to the touch. You're supposed to let it dry out a bit before using.
I think mine may have a problem since it has condensation inside- the paint on my novopen junior started to peel off. The gel is a bit sticky too and part of it does not seem to absorb the water very well. When it starts to evaporate too much it shrinks and then you know its time to put it back in water,it's usually good for a few days. I like it overall, but it is heavier to carry around if you have it in a handbag/purse. I think it could work for a small amount of insulin while in transit as long as you make sure it stays cool, but I would use a cooler and then a fridge for longer storage of unopened insulin. I did use it for some extra insulin to keep with me during Sandy as well as my opened insulin. It was fine. That was for a few days. The rest I put in a neighbor's generator operated fridge.
They do feel a little bit cold to the touch--- but interestingly, they aren't actually cold. Just as a room temperature wet washcloth on your forehead feels cold and cools off your head, even though it is the same temperature as the air it is in this is how the frio works on the insulin. Also-- note that the same wet washcloth no longer feels colder than its environment when you are using it in the shower, because it is not able to evaporate in the wet environment.
The same concept is used in weather observations to determine relative humidity--- A thermometer which is wrapped in fabric and saturated in air-temperature water will read lower than a regular thermometer in the same air-- because the water is evaporating and cooling the thermometer--- the difference between the two is used to determine how fast the water is evaporating, which is inversely proportional to the relative humidity of the air.
Try this for an experiment--- take your frio outside on a warm sunny dry day--- it will feel cold. Then take your frio outside on a day when it is raining hard, or even better, in a dense fog--- it won't feel cold to the touch in that environment, as it won't be evaporating into the air that has already reached saturation---- as evidenced by another experiment that if a frio was actually cold, it would make a glass of water colder if you put it into one, but if you do this the evaporation would immediately stop and the water wouldn't get colder.
Sorry I'm a bit of a meteorology geek. I guess where I was originally going with that was to try to say that the frio won't actually cool anything that its not directly touching, and only if it is in open air. to allow for evaporation--- used inside a closed pack in place of an ice pack, would not be effective at all
Interesting Sam, I will try that test... so far my frio just feels cold all the time to me... I usually carry it in a medium size lightweight backpack/purse with all my other supplies so I guess there is enough air around to keep it working.