Why is Glucagon Part of the Emergency Kit?

Besides insulin injections, people living with diabetes have an emergency kit, usually in the form of an emergency-red plastic box, a syringe, some liquid in a vial and some powder in another. The procedure, as instructed by caregivers, is to inject 1 unit (or is it 1/2 unit, they are not sure themselves) of the liquid into the vial with powder, shake it, and when it looks good, draw from it and inject it. That’s to inject it in your daughter or son who is undergoing severe hypoglycemia and who is in a near-death condition under uncontrolled tremors.

Whereas insulin can be artificially created as a liquid, glucagon can not yet. It is unstable, which means that it has to be prepared and administered right away. It’s a road block toward artificial pancreas technology which would administer insulin and/or glucagon as needed.

Help is on the way: http://www.biodel.com/content/pipeline/biod-glucagon.htm. Stable glucagon might be available shortly, provided the FDA approves it (an entirely different story, equally complicated).

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