How Do I Keep My Insulin Cold While Traveling?
For people with diabetes whose lives depend on insulin injections, life can be restrictive and not as spontaneous as they would like. When they want to take a long trip keeping their insulin at the ideal temperature is often important and challenging.
Finding the right storage solutions that can keep insulin at an ideal temperature is important.
What Temperature is Right for Insulin?
Once insulin has been opened, it can remain good for about 30 days if it stays within a temperature range— between 56 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the insulin is exposed to temperatures outside this range, it will break down and become far less effective. Ideally, insulin should always be stored in a ‘goldilocks’ temperature range— not too cold, not too hot— that runs from 68 to 86 degrees.
What Happens When Insulin Breaks Down
Why is it important to keep insulin in this goldilocks range, when it can handle a much wider range of temperatures? When insulin gets exposed to temperatures that are either too cold or too hot, it breaks down and no longer has the same strength or efficacy. What this means is that while it may still deliver some relief, it will not work to the degree expected. As a result, people with diabetes will not be getting the dosage they expect, leading to higher blood sugars in acute scenarios and over time. Patients may increase dosages as a result and in some cases, require hospitalization for stabilization.
Tips: Traveling Safely With Insulin
The following are a few tips you can employ to keep your insulin in the best condition when traveling:
- Never leave your insulin in the car
- Always take extra insulin with you, along with extra testing strips and lancets
- Never freeze your insulin and use it once it has thawed
The most important tip is?
Take along a storage solution that can keep your insulin in that ideal temperature range.
Storage Options That Keep insulin Cold
What storage solutions can people with diabetes consider for traveling?
1. The VIVI CAP
What’s the best option for keeping your insulin cool when traveling? The VIVI Cap. This insulin cooler for travel doesn’t involve melting ice or warming gel packs. What’s more, it’s compact and easy to tote along on your travels, with dimensions that are not much bigger than an insulin pen itself.
The VIVI Cap features a compact and sturdy design that fits right onto an insulin pen, making it small enough to slip into a pocket or purse. Scientifically proven, FDA registered, CE marked, and recognized by TSA for traveling, this storage solution works for years without maintenance. A built-in temperature sensor and indicator monitor temps so that users always know the status of their medication. The design also works with pre-filled and refillable pens, making it a flexible solution that can fit into the lifestyles of a wide range of people.
How VIVI Cap Works
The VIVI Cap insulin cooler design is simple and effective. Once an insulin pen has been opened, the VIVI Cap fits right onto the tip of the pen. This insulin pen case then acts as an insulator for the medication through a patented combination of insulation, heat exchanger, and electronics, keeping it well within the temperature safety zone for use.
The VIVI Cap has been scientifically proven to keep your insulin cool below 84.2°F (29°C) for a minimum of 12 hours, even in environments that get as hot as 100°F (37.8°C). The innovative design also regains its capacity to cool automatically whenever the environment’s ambient temperature gets below 78.8°F (26°C ). Users can enjoy these advantages for years without any required maintenance.
VIVI Cap stands up to cold, as well. Even in temps as low as -4°F (-20°C) the thermal insulation in the device prevents insulin from freezing. Checking the temperature of the stored insulin is easy, too— just press the button on the end of the pen. After a few seconds, a green indicator light will go off, indicating that the medication is still at an ideal temperature.
The following are some of the most common options, but none of them can compare with the VIVI Cap.
2. Coolers - the problem with this solution is that ice melts. Can’t ensure that the insulin is in that ‘goldilocks’ range. Coolers are large and cumbersome, making them difficult to tote along on a long trip.
3. Gel Ice Pack Cases - While this approach spares you the mess of leaking water, gel ice packs are heavy and still lose their ability to cool, eventually making them poor travel solutions.
4. The Portable Refrigerator - Good for maintaining the ideal temperature. Bad when your battery runs out and you need to charge it in the middle of the trip.