Crazy Idea | Glucagon Patch Pump for Illness

Part 2 of 2

For about a week I saw Caleb’s blood sugars plummet multiple times after each episode of vomiting. I took advantage of the relief he felt post-throw up to get some concentrated carbs in him to help elevate his blood sugar.

But when my other kids have a stomach bug, the course of action is to ingest as little as possible to avoid more throwing up.

We don’t have that luxury with Caleb. We often have to do the exact opposite. Illness makes his blood sugars drop. We reduce his insulin dosing to avoid low blood sugars. Less insulin and/or dehydration causes ketones. The way to counteract low blood sugars and ketones is to ingest liquids and carbs -the last thing you want to do when you have a stomach virus.

But to avoid a trip to the ER, that’s exactly what we must do. Force carbs. It makes an unpleasant situation exponentially more unpleasant.

V Go™ Disposable Insulin Delivery - Intended for insulin, but why not glucagon in times of illness?

So here is what I want for people living with diabetes who experience a stomach virus:

A glucagon filled, one time use, basal-delivering patch pump.

I seriously considered whether I had enough glucagon in the house to fill a Pod and slap it on Caleb, activating it with our backup OmiPod PDM. Why can’t something like this be made available via a quick trip to the pharmacy as opposed to an ordeal at the ER? I’ve heard women tell me they used a similar device when they were pregnant to infuse labor inhibiting drugs. Why not one for glucose?

With the benefit of a home glucose drip, Caleb’s recovery would have been much more comfortable than what it was and what it would have been in the ER.  With a steady flow of glucose, his bgs could be maintained safely without having to eat or drink.  Insulin dosing could be increased to offset the glucose flow and reduce the risk of ketones.

Am I crazy? Does this at all appeal to you as a preferred option to going to the ER for a glucose drip?

On top of that, I want the ability to infuse saline into my son. Yes – I want that at home. I am given the responsibility of infusing insulin – something that could easily kill him if not properly managed – with barely any training. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a way to deliver saline to him from the comfort of his home. Does the ER really have to be the only option?

So I want a third pump – maybe another patch pump with a preset basal delivery rate that connects to a saline bag so that enough can be delivered. This one may be more of a stretch, but still not completely unrealistic, right?

People living with diabetes go through enough each and every day and a stomach bug shouldn’t be such an urgent, deathly situation.  I think it’s within the realm of reality that it doesn’t have to be.


Thanks to Linda for trouble shooting my hair-brained idea with me and suggesting that even saline might be a possibility with an attachment of some sort.

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