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[IPn] Traveling with diabetes

FYI, the latest word courtesy of the ADA
For those persons traveling by air in the United States, the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented stepped-up security 
measures at the nation's airports in response to last month's tragic 
events. Some of the new security measures may affect airline 
passengers with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association 
recognizes the added inconvenience this may pose for individuals with 
diabetes, but understands the necessity to secure airline passenger 

Below please find a list of the most current information that the
Association has received regarding people with diabetes who need to
fly with their supplies and equipment within the 50 United States. We
received this information verbally from a representative of the
Federal Aviation Administration's Aviation, Security Policy & Planning
Division (Washington, D.C. headquarters). We have been told that the
FAA will be issuing the security measures to air carriers within a few
days in the form of a "security 1.  Passengers may board with syringes
or insulin delivery systems only if they can produce a vial of insulin
with a professional, pharmaceutical pre-printed label which clearly
identifies the medication. No exceptions will be made. 

Since the prescription label is on the outside of the box containing
the vial of insulin, the FAA recommends that passengers refrain from
discarding their insulin box and come prepared with their vial of
insulin in its original pharmaceutically labeled box.

2.  For passengers who have diabetes and must test their blood glucose
levels but who do not require insulin, boarding with their lancets is
acceptable as long as the lancets are capped, and as long as the
lancets are brought on with the glucose meter that has the
manufacturer's name embossed on the meter (i.e. One Touch meters say
"One Touch," Accucheck meters say "Accucheck"). 

3.  Glucagon is dispensed and normally kept in a pre-printed labeled
plastic container or box. We advise those people with diabetes who are
traveling to keep their glucagon kit intact in its original
pre-printed pharmaceutically labeled container.

4. Contrary to what we were told previously, because of forgery
concerns, prescriptions and letters of medical necessity will not be

5.  FAA security measures apply to travel within the 50 United States
only. Passengers should consult their individual air carrier for both
domestic (US) and international travel regulations. Be advised that
the FAA's policy and the policy of each airline is subject to change.

The above list of measures is a minimum requirement only and air
carriers may have other requirements that may impact a passenger's
ability to board with diabetes equipment and supplies. 

Accordingly, the FAA and the Association strongly urge each passenger
to call the airline carrier at least one day in advance of his or her
scheduled flight to confirm what that airline's policy is with regard
to diabetes medication and supplies. Be advised that each airline's
policy is subject to change. 

The Association has received a small number of complaints from
passengers who have encountered difficulty when trying to pass through
airport security with syringes and lancets. Should a passenger be
denied boarding a flight or be faced with any other unforeseen
diabetes related difficulty because of security measures, he or she
should ask to speak to the security screener's supervisor or contact
the FAA grounds security commissioner at the departing airport.  

In addition, please contact the American Diabetes Association at
703-549-1500 x-2108 so that we may be kept informed of airline
protocols and security measures. The Civil Aviation Security division
of the FAA may also be contacted at 202-267-9863. 

The Association will continue to monitor this situation and keep you
informed of new developments.

Cure. Care. Commitment.
That's your American Diabetes Association.

Irene N. Sills, MD
Albany Medical Center
Albany, New York
email @ redacted
Insulin Pumpers web site http://www.insulin-pumpers.org