Diabetes and Disasters

Diabetes and Disasters

31st October 2012

Diabetes and Disasters — Do you have an Emergency Plan?

Recent events, my own sudden illness, Hurricane Sandy and Spanish supplies running out led me to thinking about how and if we, the #gbdoc, have a plan to deal with any small, medium or even large scale emergency situations.

Unsurprisingly, all the mum’s of PWD have an ‘emergency’ supply of everything everyday just to be able to cope with caring for children with D! However, when it came to thinking about what to do if the Emergency Services knocked on the door to immediately evacuate with no chance to return say for 3 days, how prepared would you be?

It seems that living with a lifelong condition breeds a need for planning and strategic thinking! “What if my meter’s batteries run out?”, “What do I do if I run out of test strips on the train/plane/coach to xxx?”, “What will I do if I’m in an accident and am knocked unconscious — how will the emergency services know I’m a PWD?”

Lots of innocent seeming questions that, thank goodness, most of us will never have to answer, BUT — what about that one time that sods law says the toast is gonna land butter side down?

Plenty of sensible advice from the #gbdoc, and it seems that most of us have at least 24–48hrs worth of kit with us at ay one time, so for events that would require you to be away from supplies any longer than that:

Small disaster scenarios:

Running out of strips whilst visiting friends/relations

Running out of hypo treatments whilst out and about

Running out of batteries for the meter/pump

Losing/breaking lancet/meter whilst out and about

Running out of sharps

Medium Scale Disaster!

Breaking Pen and/or rapid insulin vial

Breaking Pump!

Proper “Emergencies”

Being evacuated from home by emergency services — in fact, anything involving the emergency services!

Top Tips — Plan Ahead:

1. Ask friends/family if you can keep a spare set of sharps/test strips/hypo stuff in a small toilet bag at their house, make sure its checked/updated/replace every 6mths or so!

2. Keep a stash of spares at work/school/glove box in car

3. Make a “Grab-Bag” a bag of goodies that should the worst happen, you can literally grab as you have to evacuate your home/office/school/car etc

What should be in it?

A spare set of everything! Sharps, spare pen/s, batteries, test strips & meter, water, slow & fast carbs, ketone test kit (strips/meter/dipsticks), glucagon, mini first aid kit, space blanket, list of instructions on how to use all the kit, list of meds, ratios, dosages, emergency phone numbers, torch, pencil, paper and anything else you deem necessary!

The grab-bag should be refreshed every 6 months or so and everyone in the house should know where it is and what it is for.

Also discussed was the use of MedicAlert type bracelets and how some phones allow access to an In Case of Emergency (ICE) number/contact for the emergency services. There are both iPhone and Android apps for ICE.

Tonight’s winner of #bgbingo was @annieastle !!