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Christmas trading hours

christmas-treeDiabetes SA would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.

Diabetes SA Retail Shop

Diabetes SA will be closed from Friday 22 December 2017 (5pm) until Tuesday 2 January 2018 when we resume our normal trading hours.

Diabetes Information Line

Got a question? Call 1300 136 588

Please be advised that the Diabetes Information Line will continue to operate over the Christmas closure period, including Saturdays mornings and public holidays, for NDSS enquiries and general diabetes and product information.

This is not an emergency service and if you require immediate help please call your doctor or an ambulance.


Urgent medical advice and Christmas holidays

emergencyIf you require urgent medical advice throughout the Christmas holidays, contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222 (available 24hrs) or visit your nearest hospital emergency department.

Your nearest NDSS Access Point 

You can search the NDSS Online Services Directory for a list of NDSS Access Points in your area.

Click here to find your nearest NDSS Access Point.


Keeping you and your medications safe over the summer holidays

travelling-summerGoing on a road trip with the family? Going interstate or overseas with friends? Summer is the perfect time to unwind, relax and re-charge with a well-earned holiday adventure.

But hot summer temperatures can adversely affect medication and other diabetes supplies, so a little bit of extra planning around correct storage of your medication, blood glucose strips and meters can help prepare you for a safe and enjoyable holiday experience.

Storing your oral medications

Oral diabetes medications must be stored according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If storage conditions fall outside of these recommendations, the quality of the medication may deteriorate.

The majority of medications only require storage at room temperature, which is typically less than 25 – 30°C. It is therefore important to keep medications away from direct sunlight. For example, don’t keep medication in any part of your car for extended periods of time, including the dashboard, glove box or boot.

If you are flying, keep your medication in your carry-on bag. This ensures that you are able to access your medication during the fl ight and if your checked bags get lost, you still have your medication with you. Also, the bag storage area of the plane can get very hot or very cold which is not good storage condition for your medication.

Storing your insulin and other injectable medications

Insulin and exenatide (Byetta/ Bydureon) also have recommended storage conditions as outlined by their manufacturer. For these medications, the best place for long-term storage prior to opening, is in their original carton, in the fridge at 2°C to 8°C.

Once opened, insulin, Byetta and Bydureon can safely be kept out of the fridge at room temperature (less than 30°C for insulin and Bydureon and less than 25°C for Byetta) for up to 28 days.

Never store insulin, Byetta or Bydureon in the freezer, or in the direct sunlight for example in the glove box of a car. Most of the time, you will be able to store them in your normal travel bag.

If flying, the same recommendations as those outlined for oral medications apply. It is also important to remember that once insulin, Byetta or Bydureon are kept outside of the fridge for longer than 28 days, even if unopened, their potency is not guaranteed and they should be discarded.

What about your blood glucose monitoring equipment?

It is important that your blood glucose meter and blood glucose strips are kept at room temperature. It is well documented that storing blood glucose strips at high temperatures or high humidity can shorten the life of the strips, leading to unreliable blood glucose results.

This error may be large, and usually the meters are unable to detect whether there is a problem with the affected strips. Therefore, blood glucose strips should not be left in a hot car or exposed to other environmental elements such as rain and snow. This also applies to your blood glucose meter where extremes in temperature affect meter accuracy.

All meters are sensitive to heat and cold and must be protected from extreme changes in temperature and humidity. As with other electronic devices, blood glucose meters must be protected from moisture, so keep them away from water.

How to pack your diabetes supplies for the trip

If you are visiting a very warm place these summer holidays, you should protect your supplies by keeping them in a small insulated bag. A cool pack that can be re-frozen may be useful, if going on longer day trips. Enjoy your summer holidays!

Other things to consider during the summer holiday heat

The heat of summer may affect your blood glucose levels, but it is also very much dependant on what you have eaten, whether you are well hydrated and how active you have been.

These extra tips may ensure that you have a safe, enjoyable holiday:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated – always have a water bottle handy to prevent dehydration.
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels more frequently – hot temperatures can cause unexpected fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
  • Carry your ‘hypo’ treatment for those of you who are using insulin or glucose lowering medication, sulfonylurea (refer page 14) remember to carry your hypo treatment with you.
  • Be sun smart — don’t forget to wear your high-factor sunscreen, wear protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses, and limit the amount of time that you spend in the direct sunlight; seek shade whenever possible.

Read the original article 

Click here to read the original article. Author: Susan Bellman CDE. Published in Diabetes SA Living Magazine – November 2016, page 16-17.

Additional information 



Making a Medical Breakthrough: Type 1 Diabetes and the 3D Printing Revolution

3D printing promises to rewrite the playbook for treating Type 1 Diabetes thanks to the 3D Printer Islet Cell Transplantation (PICT) Pen.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is the first hospital in Australia to get its own 3D PICT Pen and you're invited to a presentation from the key players responsible for its innovation, fabrication and use in transplantation.


  • Professor Gordon Wallace, Director of the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Executive Director at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electro-materials Science, Australian Laureate Fellow and 2016 winner of CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.
  • Professor Toby Coates, Director of Kidney and Islet Transplantation – RAH, Professor of Medicine at University of Adelaide, transplant physician, nephrologist and leading researcher in the field of transplantation
  • Rosie Hicks, CEO, Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) – the ANFF was established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, and links 8 university-based nodes to provide researchers and industry with access to state-of-the-art fabrication facilities.
  • Juewan Kim, PHD candidate, Health and Medical Sciences Faculty, University of Adelaide

Event details

  • Date: Wednesday 6 December
  • Time: 12pm – 1:30pm
  • Venue: Royal Adelaide Hospital, corner North Terrace and West Terrace, Adelaide
  • Cost: This event is free but tickets are required for entry for all attendees
  • Click here to register.

Travelling with diabetes — Personal story

travellerMark is 31 years old, works as a physiotherapist and is a seasoned traveller. Mark has had diabetes "live with him" for 19 years and currently administers insulin via an insulin pump.

About Mark

When Mark was 22 he set off on a 2 year European adventure on a work visa. He certainly made the most of this time and his new found freedom by exploring many countries including England, Scotland, France, Spain, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Monaco, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Turkey!

Getting off the beaten track

Since his first adventure at a very young age he has had the opportunity to back pack through South America, North America, Asia and Northern Africa on a couple of different big trips from 2009 until 2012. His favourite part of travelling is ‘getting off the beaten track’ especially in continents like South America and Asia. He describes these countries as offering wonderful countryside and undiscovered little villages that home incredibly genuine, friendly and welcoming people. These people are usually very poor. Mark believes that these experiences make you realise that you can live a very simple life but also be very happy.

Enjoying active adventures

During his travels Mark has trekked the Everest base camp in Nepal, Machu Picchu in Peru and an amazing 6000m in the Andes in Bolivia. He has surfed in Norway and the Philippines, snowboarded in Canada, USA, Norway and Switzerland and sailed in Croatia. He has also been deep sea diving in Columbia and mountain scrambling on Volcano’s in Peru and Columbia!

His favourite travel destination

This is a hard one for Mark to answer, as you can imagine. He loves Columbia for its incredible variety (stunning Caribbean coast, amazon jungle/basin, Andes mountains, huge volcanos, coffee fiends and amazing people), and Nepal for its sheer vastness and beauty of the Himalayas and simple living. On the whole for continents he loves South America for the pure variety of landscapes, amazing cultures and people... plus the food!

Mark's advice for those keen travellers

“Just do it!! As long as you are prepared when you go, even with major unexpected circumstances you should be fine with your diabetes control and supplies.“

How Mark prepares for his travels

When preparing for a trip Mark believes that the most important thing without doubt is thorough preparation before you head off. Before he heads off overseas he always follows this simple checklist.

Mark's checklist for traveling

  1. Very simply, take at least double everything you think you may need (2 finger prickers, double pump consumables, batteries, double the insulin etc.)
  2. Have back up for your insulin delivery: I take a couple of insulin pens and supplies in case something unforeseen happens with my pump...which has happened before. I had one pickpocketed (somehow!?) at a party in Brazil.
  3. When travelling on planes take all of your insulin on board with you to avoid the insulin freezing or getting too cold in the cargo section.
  4. When travelling I always keep my diabetes gear separated between my main travel pack/locker and day-pack so that if one bag gets stolen or lost you always have a full supply elsewhere.
  5. Use your insulin / diabetes consumables evenly between your two supplies incase you lose one lot and the other is very low.
  6. I am aware it is recommended to keep your insulin refrigerated whenever possible and I agree with this, but I want to share that on two trips over 12 months I've kept my insulin unrefrigerated (due mainly to no regular availability) in insulated lunch boxes from the supermarket and insulin efficiency has not changed at all. You still need to be aware of avoiding extreme temperatures at both ends of the spectrum of course.
  7. Also be aware that if you are going to be in England for an extended amount of time, you can register with a doctor there and through the NHS get free insulin and diabetes consumables.
  8. Because my pump is Medtronic, I also have a couple of cards with contact offices around the world and their phone numbers, and also carry the email of my Australian contact person.

Additional information


New MediTracker app keeps patients with diabetes safer

Patients with diabetes can now benefit from MediTracker, a next-generation smartphone app that provides direct access to their GP medical summary as held in their general practice.

A growing number of doctors, allied health care providers and specialists are using MediTracker to improve patient care and give their patients greater control of their health.

The highly respected publication, Medical Republic, says, "The launch of MediTracker could be the start of the connected-patient revolution that will fundamentally alter the way medicine is practiced in Australia."

MediTracker's key benefits for your patients living with diabetes

Medical summary in their smartphone

  • Easy access to an up-to-date medical history, previous and current health conditions, as well as care plans, appointments, prescribed medications, allergies,and immunisations. The app displays pathology results retrieved from the patient's record in the practice's clinical software, subject to controls in place at the general practice. MediTracker does not retrieve GP notes, documents, or any records marked confidential.

Track key test results

  • Patients can track measurements and pathology tests ordered by their GP, including blood glucose and HbA1c, in graphical form.

Stay safer

  • MediTracker keeps patients safer 24/7; on clinical handover, out of hours, on travel, and in emergencies. By putting the patient's medical summary in their hands, the right information is accessible to the right people at the right time, critical for ensuring patient safety. This information is available to the patient anywhere, anytime, even when offline.

Better patient outcomes

  • MediTracker links to Apple Health and Google Fit and, through these, to the growing ecosystem of digital and wearable devices. With patient consent, this data can be uploaded and shared with the patient's care team via the cdmNet cloud. Evidence indicates that access to such self-monitored data can lead to better patient outcomes, reduced readmission rates following hospitalisation and lower mortality.

World-class information security measures

  • The MediTracker network uses SSL/TLS encryption for data transport, the same level of encryption used by leading banks and government agencies. All data is hosted in Australia on dedicated (non-shared) hardware in an ISO27001 certified facility. Patients are provided PIN/Touch ID security within MediTracker in addition to the usual device level security.

For patients to start using MediTracker, their GP practice must first install the MediTracker Connector. This lightweight software is available for free download, click here.

Setup takes less than a minute and has no noticeable effect on computer performance.

MediTracker costs patients $5.99 per annum to stay connected to their GP.

Encourage your patients to try the app for free for one month.

Click here to find out more.

Additional information


Diabetes and travelling

travellingHaving diabetes should not limit you from seeing new sights or experiencing new adventures. Sure the idea of travelling to far destinations, new climates, new foods, and possibly crossing different time zones may seem very overwhelming if you are living with diabetes; however careful planning can help your trip go more smoothly.

There are several things to consider before you go, whether you are travelling by plane, train, boat or motor vehicle, within Australia or overseas, here are some tips to help make you travel as safe and hassle-free as possible.

Preparing for your trip

Talk to you Doctor. If you are planning on travelling for an extended period, talk to your Doctor or Diabetes Educator about your travel plans. This may include a discussion on any vaccinations that you may require, and preparing a plan for how to adjust the times and doses of your medications if you are travelling in different time zones.

Carry a doctor's letter

Ask your Doctor to write a letter outlining your medical condition, current medications (including dosage and how often you take them) and any equipment and devices that you may need to use for your diabetes (such as blood glucose meter, lancets, insulin pen/syringes and pumps) that you will require and should carry with you at all times. Take several copies of this letter or have it available on an electronic device (such as smart phone) should you be required to present it at security or medical services if required. It may also be important to think about whether the letter may need to be translated into the language of your destination. 

Click here to visit the 'Google Translate' website.


Speak to your Doctor or Diabetes Educator about your National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) allowance for supplies. Estimate what medication, test strips, insulin and syringes you will require for your entire trip and pack more than you think you will need. Ensure that the date on your supplies do not expire while you are away, as this may also result in some costly out of pocket expenses. If you use an insulin pump, some companies may loan you a pump while you are travelling; otherwise it is very important to have a backup plan in case the pump fails. Ensure that you have contact details of relevant manufacturers should you require advice while travelling.

Click here to visit the NDSS website for more information.


You should make sure your travel insurance covers any pre-existing conditions, and all medical expenses for injury or illness as well as covering for damage and theft of valuables, and any cancellations to flight plans. Should you become ill, a general insurance policy will not cover you for pre-existing medical conditions.

Click here to visit the 'Smart Traveller' website.

Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA)

The Australian Government has arrangements with a number of countries providing travellers with benefits similar to Medicare, but these are normally only for emergency treatment arising from your visit and do not replace your need for travel insurance. Check that the country that you are travelling to have a RHCA with Australia.

Click here to visit the 'RHCA' website. 

In transit

The airport

Airports should not pose a problem for people living with diabetes. Ensure that you have supporting documentation (Doctor’s letter) confirming your medical condition and need for supplies, which can be provided to security when required. There have been concerns regarding the effects of security screening (x-ray and body scanners) on insulin pumps. If you are currently using an insulin pump and/ or a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device, it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer of the particular pump for advice. It is also recommended to contact the airline in regards to using the device on board the aircraft.

Click here for more information about airport security and insulin pumps.

Equipment and storage

It is important to carry all essential equipment and medications in your hand luggage and within reach. The best place for you to store them is in the seat pocket in front of you, and don’t forget to take them with you when exiting the plane.

Insulin storage

When travelling overseas, insulin needs to be in pharmacy-labelled packaging and stored correctly. Insulin vials (pre-filled pens or insulin cartridges) either opened or unopened, generally last for one month when stored at room temperature. Any excess insulin should be kept in the refrigerator. Storing insulin in your luggage risks exposure to freezing temperatures, and could damage the insulin, and is not recommended. Investing in an insulated bag to keep your insulin cool is a good idea; otherwise contact your airline to discuss storage of insulin for longer trips.

Sharps disposal

Disposing of sharps is also important when travelling; some airport/aircraft restrooms and some hotels have complimentary sharps containers, however some do not. Carry a travel size sharps container with a lid to dispose of your sharps responsibly.

Eating while travelling

While travelling, try to maintain your normal diet and continue monitoring your carbohydrate intake. Always wait until your meal is in front of you before you have any insulin or oral medications that may cause a hypoglycaemic event. If there are not enough carbohydrates served with your meal, ask for extra. You should keep some additional carbohydrate snacks on hand that can be used to supplement or replace your meal if necessary, so packing extra snacks may be required. Ensure that you keep hydrated when travelling, and avoid local water in certain countries, bottled drinking water is best.

Further information

Further information regarding travel and diabetes should be discussed with your General Practitioner (GP) or Diabetes Educator.

Read the original article

Click here to read the original article. Published in Diabetes SA Living Magazine – July 2017, page 26.

Additional information 



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