What is Glucagon?

Glucagon is a hormone that is normally produced by the pancreas. A synthetic version (medication) comes in a kit and can be used in an emergency situation for severe hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) — such as when the person with diabetes is unconscious or is unable to swallow any oral treatment. Glucagon is injected into the fatty tissue, such as the back of the arms, and causes the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream, thus raising the glucose level in the blood.

Particularly for children with Type 1 diabetes, glucagon is essential. While an unopened kit usually has an expiration date of several months, even years, it is important to routinely check to make sure the unopened package does not become outdated.

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Glucagon dosing

• If child less than 50 pounds, HALF (1/2) the dose should be given
• If child greater than 50 pounds, FULL dose should be given