A little metal bracelet lies around their wrist. Everyone has seen them before: a bracelet that has that person’s name, address, phone number, and somewhere in the midst of it all is their health condition. What that person is wearing is a medical ID bracelet.
What exactly is a medical ID bracelet?
The easiest way to look at it is as a piece of jewelry that has all of that person’s allergies, medicines, and medical conditions engraved on it.
Who should wear a medical ID bracelet:
According to most respected sources:
- Food, drug, or insect allergy
- Cardiac Problems (i.e. angina, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, pacemakers)
- Pulmonary Conditions (i.e. asthma/Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Kidney Failure
- Blood disorders
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Memory impairment
- Blood thinners (i.e. Coumadin, Warfarin)
- Breathing disorders
- Rare diseases
- Seizure disorders
- Hearing impairment
- Sight impairment
- Mental impairment
- Surgery patient
- Transplant patient
- Cancer patient
- Clinical trial participant
- Special needs children
- Stroke risk
- Sickle cell anemia
- People taking multiple medicines
- Tourette Syndrome
What kind of allergy alert bracelet should I get?
A variety of styles are out there for an allergy alert bracelet. If one goes to their website and click on bracelets along the top of the web page, they can click on any of the styles available and or browse. They also offer necklaces that can be made and even ones for that person’s wallet for easier access, though if that person goes with the wallet option, they will need to buy something along with the wallet purchase to let people know that they need to look in their wallet for the medical id. For example, they have a new item called “fishy bubbles” and it is more geared towards children. They have the traditional looking ones, and then they have other ones for him or her.
Should allergies be listed:
Yes. Along with medical conditions, it is important for the person to have their allergies listed so this way if that person is transported to the emergency room for any reason, the bracelet can be looked at quickly. For example, someone may be allergic to latex. If they are, and they are wearing a bracelet that says so, then the hospital will know not to use latex gloves on that particular person.
Another example would be with medicines. A couple of scenarios for this:
- A particular person is on multiple medicines. If they have the bracelet, the doctor and or nurse can look at it and say “this person is on Coumadin” which means that they will need to draw blood every so often to monitor them and not give them blood thinners such as aspirin unless it is warranted.
- Someone is allergic to a particular medicine. For example they are allergic to penicillin. If they are wearing their bracelet, doctor or nurse sees that and knows not to give the patient that medicine and will have to find something else to give to them.
One more example of where a medical bracelet can come in handy:
- If a person falls unconscious due to an accident or because they had something happen at home. They cannot list off all the medicines they are on and if they do not have a caregiver there with them, then the hospital has to wait for either their physician to call back with what medicines they are on or wait until a family member arrives to tell them. That delays the time of medical care that the person would receive. If it is something serious and medical care is delayed due to not knowing what medicines they are on or what allergies they have, then the more than likely there will be experiments to find out what medicines they are allergic to and what could help that person get better. Worst case scenario is that they are misdiagnosed and something worse happens and results in death or permanent injury.
The benefits of getting a medical bracelet:
A medical allergy alert bracelet can save you from being misdiagnosed in cases of emergency. Common every aliment for one person might be mistaken for something else. It saves time for emergency room personnel and insures a quick response medically. It can also have the following engraved on it:
- Advanced directives (i.e. Do not resuscitate or DNR, DNR Comfort Care etc)
- Blood type
- Contact lenses
- Difficult intubation
- Emergency contacts (next of kin, physician etc)
- Living Will
- Organ donor
- See Wallet Card
- Phone number
Someone like American Medical ID offers the option of what is known as My Interactive Health Record or a MyIHR. What this is does is if for some reason you are in an accident and or cannot speak for yourself, the emergency room can pull up the person’s file at the link listed on the website and or by the telephone number that is listed. This way, they can figure out what treatment will be best as well as giving timely and proper medical.
Who recommends wearing one?
The list can be long, but the most recognizable organizations that recommend wearing an id bracelet are:
- American Heart Association
- American Diabetes Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
- The Cleveland Clinic
Is it worth getting one?
The short answer to this question is yes. The reason being that if a person has a medical bracelet, it will save time and get the person the medical treatment they need without possibly being misdiagnosed and get them in and out faster. There are many benefits to being able to not only get the medical ids, but also many advantages to having it on you. They have them for both children and adults that need them. If for some reason, the doctor does not approve of the bracelet, then the company adds a one year warranty on it, but if the doctor wants more added to it, they charge a small fee to engrave the extra.
For more information on the benefits, the catalog and other details for medical identifications, go to the American Medical ID’s website.