Do I need special permission to take syringes and other diabetic supplies on a plane or cruise ship?
Yes, there are certain U.S. federal regulations that must be observed when travelling with certain drugs and supplies, including syringes. These regulations are spelled out by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a component of the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for security of the nation's transportation systems.
The following information is reprinted from TSA's website*:
Notify the Security Officer that you have diabetes and are carrying your supplies with you. The following diabetes-related supplies and equipment are allowed through the checkpoint once they have been screened:
- Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products (vials or box of individual vials, jet injectors, biojectors, epipens, infusers, and preloaded syringes).
- Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other injectable medication; lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs, meter-testing solutions.
- Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies (cleaning agents, batteries, plastic tubing, infusion kit, catheter, and needle); insulin pumps and supplies must be accompanied by insulin.
- Glucagon emergency kit.
- Urine ketone test strips.
- Unlimited number of used syringes when transported in Sharps disposal container or other similar hard-surface container.
- Sharps disposal containers or similar hard-surface disposal container for storing used syringes and test strips.
Insulin in any form or dispenser must be clearly identified.
If you are concerned or uncomfortable about going through the walk-through metal detector with your insulin pump, notify the Security Officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and would like a full-body pat-down and a visual inspection of your pump instead.
Advise the Security Officer that the insulin pump cannot be removed because it is inserted with a catheter (needle) under the skin.
Advise the Security Officer if you are experiencing low blood sugar and are in need of medical assistance.
You have the option of requesting a visual inspection of your insulin and diabetes associated supplies.
Be sure to also check with your airline or cruise line to make sure you are meeting any of their particular regulations as well. Always be sure to carry copies of all current medication prescriptions in case of emergency while traveling.
You can get more travel details from TSA's website at www.tsa.gov/travelers.
* Source: Transportation Security Administration
View diabetes management products available from Walgreens.com.