advertisement

Traveling in Europe with Type 1

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Jeff, May 1, 2008.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 1995
    Messages:
    1,535
    When my daughter Marissa and I were returning from a diabetes conference in Italy, we passed through Paris to change planes. The French security staff asked Marissa for her "diabetic card." In the US, we don't have such things. They were not going to let her pass with her insulin pump. By sheer luck, she had the card that came with her medical identification bracelet, which the security staff accepted.

    Is this common practice in other countries in Europe?
     
  2. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    13,195
    I checked the local diabetes associaton website here and yes, there is a diabetic pass/card which is needed, in which there is mentioned what type of insulin you are using. There is no mention though as to how the insulin is delivered (pump or shots), which could cause a problem.
    Have an endo appt next week and will find out more details on this, and on whether it applies for the whole of the EU or Europe in general.
    Ian has a small card which states he has diabetes, which we received when he was at the hospital...never needed it though.
     
  3. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    193
    What? We've never run into such a thing travelling back and forth every year to the states, through just about every major airport in the world.

    We do have a Dr's note stating she is Type 1, on the pump, please don't ask her to take the pump off going through security, and all our emergency Dr contact info. Is that the same thing?

    But again we've never been asked to show it. My mom comes through Paris quite often on her visits here and has never been asked for anything about her Diabetes, pump or supplies.

    Wanted to add, I'm just shocked that they would ask something like that. Sounds like some grumpy customs people. And completely OT, but I've gotten the 3rd degree in Dallas and Chicago about why I live in Finland, how long I've been there ect. Well duh, maybe it's cause I'm married to a Fin??
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2008
  4. JanetM

    JanetM Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    14
    Amber,

    I just sent you a private message--but basically want to let you know that my daughter is going to Finland for 6 weeks this summer. She will be staying with a family in Jarvenpaa.

    Do you think she needs something other than a doctors letter through customs? The organization she is traveling with seems to have everything under control but i think it would be wise for us to have done all our research.

    She plans to bring all her supplies with her, but it will be cumbersome.

    Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for a 15 year old American/Canadian traveling to Finland this summer?

    Where do you live? (not that she'd 'stop by'! I'm just curious)

    Thanks,
    Janet
     
  5. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    193
    I replied to your pm. :D

    Why did your daughter choose Finland? Hah I sound like a Finn asking me why an American moved to Finland. :p

    I live in Espoo, which a fastly growing city just outside of Helsinki.
     
  6. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    13,195
    UPDATE & CORRECTION

    The diabetic pass I referred to in my OP and which is mentioned in the local diabetes association website, refers to a pass for Type 2 people in Belgium on something other than insulin. Does not at all apply to Type 1. (I'm thinking here, that the customs person may have been referring to this diabetic pass)

    The card we do have is just in case of an emergency, so other people know he is diabetic and has instructions on what to do, but is not required.

    My DH spoke with our endo yesterday, and there is NO required document for travelling. HOWEVER, she did mention that, to avoid not only mishaps like you encountered with overzealous customs people, it is recommended to have a Letter from the doctor (like AmberO's), dated, mentionning:

    - that the person has insulin-dependent diabetes
    - that the person is on the pump or injections
    - that the person needs to carry in her luggage insulin, syringes, needles, blood sugar meter, Glucagon and sugar/dextrose/etc
    - that the person needs to keep with him/her at all times, in the hand luggage, the insulin and means of injecting it. (mention also that insulin should be kept at a correct temperature, otherwise it might be destroyed)
    - that in an emergency situation, the person needs to be taken to the nearest hospital

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  7. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    193
    We're heading off to the States tomorrow for 2½ weeks. On the way back we fly through Paris, so I'll let ya'll know if we get asked for her papers. Just in case, I also got a letter from MY doctor, for my epi pens not to be taken!
     
  8. Sia

    Sia Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Hi guys, I'm glad I finally found some time to read on the forums. We are planning on going to the States next year and I wasn't sure what I would need. Thanks Paula for the list. I'll let our endo know.
    Amber, I get the same questions on why I live in Greece every time I go to Chicago, but they're usually friendly. Through Paris, though, I got lectured on not having my own clear plastic bag for liquid items which I forgot I had in my purse, and that it's a pity that they don't charge for the bags anymore. :rolleyes:
     
  9. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    13,195
  10. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    193
    Well no problems with the pump at all anywhere even Paris. Although we only had 1 hour layover by the time we got there and then promptly got lost and somehow managed to leave through passport control and then have to start all over.

    So we were rushing to get through and they were very helpful with that there I must say to get us to our gate! Her pump beeped in Paris but they didn't even question it, just ran the wand over her.

    The funniest part was my 6year old son got tagged in DFW for an extra security check!


    I'd say my biggest tip would be, make sure you have at least 2 or 3 hour layovers in between flights when traveling overseas or from!
     
  11. Armyemily

    Armyemily Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    229
    Oh the LOVELY DFW airport security. When my dad was coming back from iraq (in uniform) he was flagged at DFW because his name came up on a terroist watchlist!
     
  12. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    193
    What and in uniform!?? My bestfriend told me she has a friend who's last name gets him tagged in every airport.

    I see you're in Ft. Sill, my dad worked there until I was 3, then he transferred to White Sands.
     
  13. Armyemily

    Armyemily Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    229
    I am so sorry that you had the chance to go to White Sands! Who did your dad make mad!!!! Have you been back to Ft. Sill since moving. If not it is the same as when you left.

    The last time I flew I had to go through an extra step because I showed my military id as my id and they told me that people who do that always get tagged. I even got to talk to the lovely FBI agent about why I had a military id.(The stupid %@! said that children did not get id's I had to explain that since I was over the age of 9 I did get an id! Luckly I had a copy of my dads orders and it was when the military was still patroling airports.
     
  14. Budapest

    Budapest Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    653
    It was a year ago that we flew to NY with DS and back. We also changed planes in France. They just checked out DS's pump, called a supervisor, tried to make sense of the English language doctor's note and let us through. Of course the disinfectant spray and other stuff came up in the X ray machine, but when we were pointing that it belongs to him they didn't mind.

    It was funny though that "diabetes" they didn't understand. When we said "insulin" they made a face like "of course, no problem". :)

    No mention of D card or anything like that. BTW I have never heard of such an official thing. The only similar thing that comes to mind is a paper card from Novo Nordisk that came with the insulin pens at the beginning. It can be filled by hand and it says "I am not drunk, I am a diabetic, please call a doctor". It is meant to be used in case of a serious hypo. It is not really relevant to our 3 yr old, so we chucked it.
     
  15. Kent T

    Kent T Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    118
    I was advised by the Norwegian consulate before I arrived there for a Vacation with my wife to get a Norwegian Diabetes ID card. I got a letter from my wife's Endocrinologist in Oslo and my US Doctor. I am a full citizen by marriage. Animas's representatives in Sweden were very helpful and made sure I had support for any pump issues with a Bilingual pump trainer. No trouble with airport security or with my pump. Had my hip dislocated on the plane on the way to Oslo! Had an orthopedist waiting when we touched down. Helps when your wife's grandfather is King Harald V. Royal Service!
     
  16. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,883
    Okay, now I'm worried. I'm going to France this summer.. I hope they let me in!! :p
     
  17. maha

    maha Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    I'm french and I have diabetics card from local association,
    but no one ask me to show it.

    I allways have with me a note of my Doctor saying that I'm diabetics,
    and my medical prescription. They never really check it but when I show my supply they see that I have a prescription for it and it's ok.

    For the french police, I think that the medical prescription is required.
     
  18. dskrnanc

    dskrnanc New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    eastern Europe

    Does anybody know about eastern Europe like Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia...
     
  19. ecs1516

    ecs1516 Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    7,028
    Did she also have on her medical ID bracelet? Would they not accept a bracelet that says Diabetes-insulin-pump?
     
  20. ecs1516

    ecs1516 Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    7,028
    I remember at the 2009 FFL that Accuchek gave out a 'traveling' book that had phrases in other languages for diabetes.
     

Share This Page

advertisement

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice