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How A Very Low Blood Sugar Emergency Changed One College Student’s Mind About Being Rescue Ready - GymFitly - Health and Fitness

How A Very Low Blood Sugar Emergency Changed One College Student’s Mind About Being Rescue Ready

Sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company

It was Valentine’s Day weekend when Emily Marcum’s parents traveled from Nevada to New York City to visit their daughter. Emily had always dreamed of living in New York, and that dream came true when she was accepted to study elementary education at Queens College.

On that cold February day, the 19-year-old had planned a full day of sightseeing and walking across the city with her family, starting in Manhattan and stretching across the East River into Brooklyn. She could not wait to share some of New York’s most iconic sights and had planned an ambitious, full-day affair concluding with tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

But halfway through the family’s city tour, as they walked along the Brooklyn Bridge, Emily, who has type 1 diabetes, started to feel hungry, confused and shakiness throughout her body.

Emily was 12-years-old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In the seven years since, she has learned to manage her condition by always paying attention to carbs in meals and monitoring her blood sugar levels. Growing up, Emily and her parents were vigilant about being prepared for very low blood sugar emergencies — a condition people with diabetes may experience if their blood sugar drops low enough that they need help to recover. For the Marcums, being prepared meant having a glucagon prescription on hand and making sure Emily’s closest friends and family understood how to use the treatment, just in case.

But Emily didn’t think she would ever experience a low blood sugar emergency as long as she had candy or cake gel available to help raise her blood sugar level and she didn’t always feel comfortable talking about the possibility one might occur with her friends.

“I ate a few Skittles to try and raise my blood sugar but it wasn’t making me feel any better,” Emily recalls from that day in February. “I told my parents that I had a place in mind for lunch but couldn’t remember where it was anymore. I just needed to stop and sit down.”

By the time Emily and her parents crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, her usual efforts to raise her blood sugar quickly were not working.

“I was holding my mom’s hand and then suddenly felt my head fly back. My mom thought I was joking at first, but my eyes rolled back and she immediately knew something was wrong,” said Emily. “My dad helped lay me on the ground, but I have no memory of that or anything in the moments after.”

Emily was experiencing her first low blood sugar emergency. Luckily, her mom had brought Emily’s Baqsimi® (glucagon) nasal powder 3 mg prescription on the trip and was able to spring into action. She grabbed the Baqsimi from her backpack and quickly administered it to help revive her daughter. Baqsimi is the first and only dry nasal spray that can treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in people with diabetes ages 4 years and above, and is a form of glucagon given as a puff in the nose. Do not use Baqsimi if: you have a tumor in the gland on top of your kidneys (adrenal gland) called pheochromocytoma; you have a tumor in your pancreas called insulinoma; you are allergic to glucagon, or any other ingredient in Baqsimi.

“Before this experience, I didn’t really think or talk much about the possibility of having a low blood sugar event that I couldn’t use candy to recover from. This experience showed me that, despite doing all the right things, the unexpected can still happen,” Emily said.

Emily survived the low blood sugar emergency, but the traumatic experience was a wakeup call. In the months since, Emily brings Baqsimi with her wherever she goes and makes sure her family, friends, and even boss at the coffee shop where she works back home know when and how to use her glucagon rescue treatment.

“Having Baqsimi on hand makes me feel confident to live my life, knowing that those around me have a simple to use glucagon rescue treatment available in case I have another low blood sugar emergency,” says Emily. “With Baqsimi, I am open to talking to my friends and family about low blood sugar emergencies and how to help me if it happens.”

According to Beth Mitchell, a registered nurse who has treated people with low blood sugar emergencies and is a member of the diabetes team at Eli Lilly and Company, there are a few steps people living with diabetes who are at risk for very low blood sugar can take to prepare for an emergency:

  • Keep glucagon rescue on hand: Very low blood sugar is an unpredictable event for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes that can happen unexpectedly, anytime, anywhere. Be prepared by having rescue glucagon readily available. While there are several options to choose from, you may consider Baqsimi, which offers a ready-to-use option. Baqsimi is the first and only dry nasal spray that can treat very low blood sugar in people with diabetes ages 4 years and above. Baqsimi may cause serious side effects including:
  • Know when and how to use rescue glucagon: Rescue glucagon is meant to be used when someone is having a low blood sugar emergency, where the person is unable to eat or drink or needs help from someone else. Possible signs of a low blood sugar emergency may include irritability, dizziness, lack of coordination, inattention or confusion, shaking or sweating, and seizure or loss of consciousness. If you choose to have Baqsimi as your rescue glucagon, know that Baqsimi is designed to be given as a puff in the nose and does not need to be inhaled. It can be given even if the recipient is passed out or has nasal congestion. It is important to review the Instructions for Use included with your Baqsimi device, or available on In addition, Baqsimi is compact, portable and ready to use (no reconstitution or injection required) in a precise and premeasured dose. It requires no refrigeration and can be stored at temperatures up to 86°F (30°C degrees).
  • Talk your doctor and support network: While some people in your support network may be familiar with how to help in the event of a low blood sugar emergency, reminding them of the possible signs of an emergency and when and how to use rescue glucagon may help them feel confident to help in case the unexpected happens. And don’t forget to talk with your doctor and diabetes care team about how to prevent low blood sugar events, as well as about emergency preparedness.

As Emily and her family learned from her low blood sugar emergency, having a simple to use glucagon rescue treatment on hand is critical, whether you’re at home, heading off to school or out with friends. If you want to feel more prepared and confident in case the unexpected happens, even if you’ve never had a low blood sugar emergency before, be rescue ready and talk to your doctor about what rescue medication option is right for you and your support network.


Important Facts About BAQSIMI™ (BAK-see-mee). It is also known as glucagon nasal powder.

BAQSIMI is a prescription medicine used to treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in people with diabetes ages 4 years and above.

It is not known if BAQSIMI is safe and effective in children under 4 years of age.


Do not use BAQSIMI if:

• you have a tumor in the gland on top of your kidneys (adrenal gland) called pheochromocytoma.

• you have a tumor in your pancreas called insulinoma.

• you are allergic to glucagon, or any other ingredient in BAQSIMI.

BAQSIMI may cause serious side effects, including:

High blood pressure. BAQSIMI can cause high blood pressure in certain people with tumors in their adrenal glands.

Low blood sugar. BAQSIMI can cause certain people with tumors in their pancreas to have low blood sugar.

Serious allergic reaction. Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have a serious allergic reaction including:

• rash

• difficulty breathing

• low blood pressure

Common side effects

The most common side effects of BAQSIMI include:

• nausea

• vomiting

• headache

• runny nose

• discomfort in your nose

• stuffy nose

• redness in your eyes

• itchy nose, throat, and eyes

• watery eyes

These are not all the possible side effects of BAQSIMI. For more information, ask your doctor.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Before using

Before getting BAQSIMI, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:

• have a tumor in your pancreas.

• have not had food or water for a long time (prolonged fasting or starvation).

• are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

• are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if BAQSIMI passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you can use BAQSIMI while breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

How to use

Read the detailed Instructions for Use that comes with BAQSIMI.

• Use BAQSIMI exactly how your doctor tells you to use it.

• Make sure your caregiver knows where you keep your BAQSIMI and how to use BAQSIMI the right way before you need their help.

• Your doctor will tell you how and when to use BAQSIMI.

• BAQSIMI contains only 1 dose of medicine and cannot be reused.

• BAQSIMI should be given in one side of your nose (nostril) but does not need to be inhaled.

• BAQSIMI will work even if you have a cold or are taking cold medicine.

• After giving BAQSIMI, the caregiver should call for emergency medical help right away.

• If the person does not respond after 15 minutes, another dose may be given, if available.

• Tell your doctor each time you use BAQSIMI.

• Store BAQSIMI at temperatures up to 86°F (30°C).

• Keep BAQSIMI in the shrink wrapped tube until you are ready to use it.

Keep BAQSIMI and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Learn more

For more information, call 1-800-545-5979 or go to

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use BAQSIMI for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give BAQSIMI to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.

This summary provides basic information about BAQSIMI but does not include all information known about this medicine. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for information about BAQSIMI that is written for health professionals. This information does not take the place of talking with your doctor. Be sure to talk to your doctor or other health care provider about BAQSIMI and how to take it. Your doctor is the best person to help you decide if BAQSIMI is right for you.

BAQSIMI is a trademark owned or licensed by Eli Lilly and Company, its subsidiaries, or affiliates.


PP-GN-US-0647 08/2020 © Lilly USA, LLC 2020. All rights reserved.

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