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Basic Skills

Giving Emergency Glucagon

By in Basic Skills

Glucagon is a hormone that is used to raise blood sugar in cases of severe hypoglycemia (Low blood glucose). Advancements in the delivery of Glucagon have now made two treatment options possible. The original form of distribution is given by injection beneath the skin and can only be obtained by a prescription. The new form of treatment is a nasal powder, called Baqsimi, which is also available through a prescription.


You probably were trained to use Glucagon when your child was first diagnosed.  Figuring out how to use it in an emergency can be nerve-wracking, so it is recommended that you practice the steps of preparing it every three months. A great place to practice is by using the free Glucagon app, available for both iPhone and Android.  That way, in case of an emergency, you’ll be prepared.

Using the Injectable form of Glucagon

If your child cannot swallow or has lost consciousness, follow these steps to prepare and inject the glucagon.

  • First, call 911.
  • Inject ALL the liquid in the syringe into the Glucagon bottle.
  • Shake the bottle until the Glucagon dissolves and the liquid becomes clear.
  • Withdraw the liquid mixture from the Glucagon bottle to the amount your doctor has prescribed for your child’s weight.
  • Inject the liquid into the front of the leg or the upper arm. (You may inject directly through clothes).
  • Turn the child onto his/her side. As they awaken, they may vomit.
  • Check the blood sugar with a monitor/meter.
  • Call the Pediatric Diabetes Doctor on call.
  • If the child is still unconscious after 10 minutes, check the blood sugar again. If the blood sugar is still below 80, re-shake the rest of the solution, draw it up and give another injection.
  • As the child awakens and is able to swallow, give juice or regular soda and food such as crackers and cheese or a meat sandwich.

Using the Nasal Administration of Glucagon (Baqsimi)

Please read the Instructions for the use of Baqsimi before a first administration is needed.

Do Not remove the Shrink Wrap or open the tube until you are ready to use it. If the tube has been opened, Baqsimi could be exposed to moisture. This could cause Baqsimi to not work as expected.

If your child cannot swallow or has lost consciousness, follow these steps to prepare and administer the Baqsimi.

  • Remove the shrink wrap by pulling on the red stripe.
  • Open the lid and remove the Device form the Tube.
  • Hold device between fingers and thumb. DO NOT push plunger yet.
  • Insert Tip gently into one nostril until the finger(s) touches the outside of the nose.
  • Push plunger firmly all the way in. Dose is complete when the green line disappears.

After administering Baqsimi:

  • Call 911
  • If the person is unconscious turn the person on their side.
  • Throw away the used device and tube.
  • Encourage the person to eat as soon as possible. When they are able to safely swallow, give the person a fast acting source of sugar, such as juice. Then encourage the person to eat a snack, such as crackers with cheese or peanut butter.
  • If the person does not respond after 15 minutes, another dose may be given, if available.


Updated 9/11/19

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.