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Guidelines: Insulin Storage & Handling Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Guidelines: Insulin Storage & Handling

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Introd­uction

Insulin is measured in units. Most bottles, cartri­dges, and pens of insulin sold in the United States have 100 units of insulin per milliliter of fluid and are labeled U-100. Different strengths, like U-500, also are available in the U.S. Different strengths are used in other countries.

It's important to know the type of insulin you take and whether it should appear cloudy or clear.

Insulin Storage

Storage

• Vials and cartridges of insulin not currently being used should be stored in the refrig­erator (2 to 8 degrees) until their date of expiry away from freezing coils or freezer.
• Vials and cartridges which are in current use should be kept at room temper­ature and discarded after 4 weeks of opening. Cold insulin may sting and the action could be delayed
• Never use insulin which is out of date. Always check expiry date on the insulin vial or cartridge
• Avoid extremes of cold or heat. Temper­atures can alter the effect­iveness of the insulin
• Do not keep insulin vials or cartridges in the glove box of a car.
• Do not freeze your insulin.
• Do not expose insulin to strong light or heat

Hamdling

• Prior to use, cloudy insulin must be mixed well.
• If using a vial, gently roll the vial between the palms of the hands and /or moving the insulin up and down 20 times.
• If you draw up more than the required amount of insulin do not squirt excess insulin back into the vial as this may contam­inate the vial.
• If using a pen invert the pen 20 times to mix the insulin well.
 

Do Not Use Vial or Cartridge

• If the expiry date on the vial or cartridge or prefilled pen has been reached.
• If the clear soluble insulin has turned cloudy (it must look clear)
• If the insulin is discol­oured.
• If the insulin has been frozen or exposed to high temper­atures.
• If the insulin contains lumps or flakes or sticks to the glass.

Travelling

Do Not Use Vial or Cartridge
• If the expiry date on the vial or cartridge or prefilled pen has been reached.
• If the clear soluble insulin has turned cloudy (it must look clear)
• If the insulin is discol­oured.
• If the insulin has been frozen or exposed to high temper­atures.
• If the insulin contains lumps or flakes or sticks to the glass.
• When travelling keep your insulin vials/­car­tridges in their cartons in as cool a place as possible. Keep these supplies in your hand luggage.
• Storage of insulin in an insulated container is advisable to protect the insulin from extremes of temper­ature.
• If travelling away from home or overseas for short periods try and take at least twice your calculated insulin requir­ements carried in your hand luggage.
• If travelling with a companion it is recomm­ended to divide your insulin supplies in your hand luggage in case of lost or stolen hand luggage
• Always take a spare pen in case of damage or lost
• Always take a spare meter and extra strips supplies
• Take a Doctor’s travel letter and a copy for customs
• Always be prepared and have a supply of hypo food with you
• If insulin adjustment is required contact your Diabetes Centre or GP for advice