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Glucagon emergency kit

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by MrsDiabetic, Mar 18, 2022.

  1. MrsDiabetic

    MrsDiabetic · Member

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    Hi,

    Does being insulin dependent mean I need to have a glucagon emergency kit at home?

    Or do I need to experience severe hypo before my gp prescribe it?

    I only have been diagnosed a month ago hence asking.
     
  2. sleepster

    sleepster Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes to the first question, no to the second :)
    I just put a note on my prescription request when I need a new one.
     
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  3. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Do note it is not self-usable - for example I live on my own therefore it would be useless for me
     
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  4. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Moderator
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    Just looked at the one my husband has in his bedside drawer. Issued in 2017, expired in 2019, guess I'll ask for a new one next time I see a diabetes professional...
     
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  5. Mad76

    Mad76 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed 2 years ago
    No.one gave me one
    Had a severe hypo a few months ago. Made me really scared. Asked doc for the kit. Its got prescribed straight away no problem. Given me peace of mind having it in the house. Hoping to never be to use it though
     
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  6. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Moderator
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    As @Rokaab said, you need to make sure that someone else in your house knows how to use it. The idea is they administer it if you are too far gone to take sugar eg unconscious or unable to swallow. At that point, you won't have the ability to use it yourself.
     
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  7. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    I asked for one when I thought it could be of use in an emergency, no problem to get it.
    At home it's useless, as I live alone, but I have taken it on sailing trips where it can take a lot longer for emergency services to reach you.
    I instructed my co-worker on the use of it, and in the single occasion my co-worker got a little white in the face at the thought, I asked our paying guests if someone was willing to learn in case of emergency. :)

    Never needed it though, and it's likely out of date by now.
     
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  8. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have mine on prescription, and replace when out of date. I was first given them on DAFNE. When the first one went out of date my husband did a dummy run through, so he would feel more confident using it if he had to. The most important thing when using is to eat about 60 carbs as soon as you come round to replace what the injection made your liver kick out. They are not actually glucose themselves.
     
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  9. Mad76

    Mad76 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Just for info , my nurse told me the other day as of a few months ago there's a new glucagon emergency pen out.
    At the moment I have the orange one. It involves the person administering it having to mix the liquid and the powder before giving the injection. This might cause delay and confusion in an emergency situation. Anyway there's a new pre filled injection that is just given to.the person. No mixing etc needed.
    I've made a request to get this new type. The gp has said yes, just waiting for pharmacy to her hold of it now
    I'm hoping my husband will be less nervous about this one. Less potential for mistakes.
     
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  10. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Just sent mine to the Ukraine on the basis that I don't use them. I can see how they could be useful for those who go hypo rapidly (dosing error) or don't have symptoms but think they are last resort because whenever it has been that bad the post hypo 'hangover' was pretty awful.
    But yes along with ketostix they are something to have even if rarely used. On that last note, best to check they are still in date occasionally!
     
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  11. Hopeful34

    Hopeful34 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Also potentially life saving if you live alone, inject for meal, have meal and then are violently sick and can't keep anything down and you're going into hypo territory. Happened to me once and was scary.
     
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  12. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    In that case I would call emergency services, plus my neighbours before using the Glucagon.
    Very scary scenario!
     
  13. Hopeful34

    Hopeful34 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    DNS said to use glucagon first, then call 999 as if they're busy they might not get there before you go unconscious, and at least you've started the process of bringing your levels back up. Hopefully it will never happen again!
     
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  14. Seacrow

    Seacrow LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Did this just yesterday. Went into one of those will not go away hypos, drank 1.5l lucozade, threw up massively. I had no idea if I'd absorbed enough glucose. Fortunately we are having a house extension built, so I wobbled out to the builders, sat down, and said if I keel over, please call an ambulance. The really annoying bit is I still feel horrible today.

    I was told violent nausea was likely to trigger a liver dump anyway, so the glucagon pen would just call for sugar the liver no longer has. Also, have you seen the size of that needle? I'm not sure I could self administer that.
     
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  15. JaneC

    JaneC Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That is really useful to know, thanks. I had a very rare incident recently when my husband had to use a 4 year out of date one and getting a new up to date one from the GP took 4 visits and a week's wait. The chemist's won’t replace out of date glucopen's either or issue over the counter as an emergency. It would be so useful to be able to access somewhere with the latest diabetic kit, I'm not often at the clinic and as we all know, the GP's don’t have the latest type 1 info.
     
  16. Hopeful34

    Hopeful34 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Could you have emailed or phoned the DNS and asked them to request the gp to prescribe it? Seems to work well in some areas.
     
  17. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
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    I didn't get one for a few years, have never had the need to use it in 10 years but have one in the fridge altho probably out of date. Just in case, another method is to have glucogel with you as this can be rubbed into the gums and will aid recovery if the patient is unconscious, as it's a gel it's unlikely to cause choking either, but regardless you would still need to make an emergency call if the patient is unconscious. My GP prescribes glucogel but it can be bought online too.
     
  18. nicki92

    nicki92 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I asked if I needed the kit on my first visit to the diabetologist, I have one in the fridge and my partner knows how to use it. When it goes out of date I'll donate it to the diabetologist's practice as they use expired ones for showing partners how to use them.
    I did a first aid course at work recently (I live in Germany) and asked why we're not shown how to use them, as it could be really necessary for me. The trainer said that it's against the law here to administer medicine so they can't train people in using them... I decided that once we're back in the office regularly I can show a couple of the other first aiders how to use it just in case
     
  19. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Do remember though first aiders do not generally give injections - many may feel uncomfortable if you ask them to do so, and as the the trainer on the course told you it may actually not be legal for them to do so
     
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  20. nicki92

    nicki92 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Yes of course - I just know there were at least a couple of people in the room who were keen to be shown. I guess I could sign a disclaimer or something for their sake, but I'd much rather be injected than need an ambulance!
     
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