Saving a life in diabetic crisis at 4 am in the Charlotte Airport with Starbucks honey packets
We were not planning on spending the night in the Charlotte airport but — these things happen. There was an issue with the plane- when they finally got a new plane — the flight crew hours timed out. We were set up with cots by the gate around 1:30 am and tried to get some sleep. Around 4 am, a woman in the area began making some odd, combative noises. We grabbed the limited medical kit with which we always travel and went to investigate. We gathered from the woman’s husband that she was diabetic, this had happened before, and he gives her glucagon. They had given their suitcase to the airline at the gate. The glucagon was in that suitcase. We had one of the 150 onlookers call 911 and learned that EMS was at least 30 minutes away. She was unconscious, unarousable, and intermittently combative. She did not have 30 minutes. In her current state, we estimated that her blood glucose was possibly as low as 40. We donned gloves, opened up honey packets, and started doing buccal and gum massage. It took six honey packets but she started coming around. After 20 minutes, she was able to open her eyes and slowly started answering questions. By the time EMS arrived and checked her blood glucose, it was 72. When someone is unconscious, nothing should be given by mouth, but, in a pinch, the honey will absorb through buccal massage. Honey will absorb even faster when given rectally — if a honey bear is handy. In the end- we were grateful for the delays that put us in the right place at the right time to help this woman. Hopefully the 150 people looking on now know how to save a life in diabetic crisis using honey packets. Thank you Starbucks.