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airline transporting meds that have to be kept refrigerated


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#1 Clementine

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:47 AM

Hello....my sweet husband is on an asthma medication and he gives his own injection. The vials must be kept in the refrigerator and are only good if left out four hours max at room temperature. Does anyone have any pointers on how the easiest way is that we can ship these to England with him? It also includes syringes. We'll do the basics, like keeping his prescription on hand, but how can we keep it cold? We wonder if dry ice would work for what will be about a 20 hour day. Maybe a small ice chest?
The TSA rules are so strict these days. The medication costs a small fortune, so not taking this with him isn't an option *yet*.
Tangie, his sclero wife.

#2 peanut

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:40 AM

Tangie,
Perhaps you could call a pharmaceutical company or even Walgreens and see if they know or call the TSA, the board in charge of security for the airlines. You'll probably be on hold forever but at least you'd know what you could use to get thru security.

Peanut

You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate
my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#3 JJ-Knitter

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:05 PM

Hi Tangie,

There are small chests used for transporting medications that must be kept cold that run off 12V and/or batteries, but a regular cooler with ice packs could still work. Make sure they are solid, sealed commercial ones, not frozen water.

You'd need to have a letter describing the medication, how it has to be kept and who it is for from your husband's doctor/pharmacist.

Always contact the airline in advance and make arrangements for special needs treatment (I recommend getting a rep from the airline to meet you at check-in with a wheelchair even if you don't need it.). Most airlines will also be willing to send or fax an acknowledgement of your request and include a statement of their policies for handling the medical issue. Once you get the cooler on board the aircraft, keeping it in the overhead baggage compartment will help conserve the life of the cool packs. Wrapping the medication in bubble wrap will help keep it from getting too cold. Once the cool packs start to warm up, most airlines will give you ice in a ziplock bag (take the bags with you!) to refresh the cooler. And don't assume that any airline's personnel will all know what the head office arranged with you. They won't~

BTW, medical equipment/supplies should NOT count against your carry-on limits. Nice to know.

Contacting TSA is never a bad idea, but bear in mind EVERY airport's security will be different both here and abroad. You'll also get individual security personnel varying a huge amount (I used to train them, so I know how much depends on personality. :angry: ) If any one gives you a hassle, ask to see the supervisor on duty and request hand-wanding which will get you out of the security screening line and into a place where you can deal with the issue quietly. Give far more time for the security screening than you think could possibly be necessary.

Do you have a friend in England who could put you in touch with their doctor to see what you could set up as a contingency plan for perhaps replacing things like syringes?

One last thought, there are courier/freight agencies which will undertake overnight international delivery of refrigerated goods. You might talk to them about perhaps shipping a portion of the medication you'd need for your trip. Flagging the item as for personal use while in England should get it through duty free.


Hope some of this helps.

JJ