The human race is living longer these days thanks to medical innovations but as much as we progress in the medical field there will always be a need for medical alert bracelets. We are putting more and more pollutants into the air, which is creating allergies which could be fatal, and these sufferers need to wear medical alert id bracelets so that they can get the right help quickly in the event of an emergency.
MedicAlert is an international non-profit registered charity which provides an identification system that is genuinely a life-saver for anyone who has a hidden medical condition or allergies. This identification takes the form of an emblem on a medic alert bracelet or pendant, together with all relevant information, personal and medical. This information is retained by MedicAlert who act as a suppository, with a 24/7 emergency telephone number which accepts reverse charges and allows any medical or emergency personnel to access vital information from anywhere in the world in more than one hundred languages.
The History of the Medic Alert Bracelet
MedicAlert was founded by Dr M. Collins and Mrs Chrissie Collins, in America in 1956 after the near-death of their daughter because of an allergic reaction to a specific horse serum which was commonly used in a routine tetanus antitoxin test. From these humble beginnings and the wishes of concerned parents that nobody should go through what they had with their daughter, there are now in excess of four million members wearing medical alert id bracelets from over forty countries.
MedicAlert has a very long and proud history with the Lions Clubs who have helped them to reach and assist many people internationally. The partnership with the Lions has also helped MedicAlert to reach out to the communities, thereby spreading the word about this essential service to those who may not have known about it otherwise.
Reasons for Wearing Medical Alert Bracelets
People wear these medical bracelets for various conditions, but all for one reason; to save their lives in case of an emergency. People who should wear these bracelets are:
- Those who have any type of Hidden Medical Condition – epilepsy, asthma, heart conditions, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases can easily create emergency situations.
- People who have a cardiac problem or have had an Implant – atrial fibrillation, angina, pace-makers, knee or hip replacements, cochlea implants etc.
- Those who have Advance Medical Directives – Anyone who has a Do Not Revive instruction has a Living Will or is registered as an Organ Donor – having a medic alert bracelet on will allow Emergency or Medical personnel to access your vital information quickly, which could mean saving someone else’s life.
- For Identity Purposes – Children who are too young to speak or suffer from autism and adults with Dementia or Alzheimer’s would benefit from wearing medical alert id bracelets so that if they get lost they could be easily identified and assisted when found.
- Those who are Allergy Suffers – Pollen, nut allergies, food allergies, Penicillin, sulfur allergies, insect allergies, or any allergies to any other substances or medications. Anaphylactic Allergies can cause death if the emergency or medical personnel do not know what the problem is or what the patient is allergic to.
- Those who are on Chronic Medication – taking blood thinners such as Warfarin or retro-viral medication, various medications for epilepsy, or multiple medications can create conditions which require immediate attention. People who are participating in Clinical Trials should also wear medical alert bracelets. Anyone who is on a mono amine oxidase inhibitor which could interact fatally with epinephrine must get a medical bracelet.
- Those who are High-Risk Patients – anyone who is at risk of a heart attack, a stroke or kidney failure, has epilepsy or other seizure disorders needs to wear medical alert id bracelets.
- Would like a record of their Blood Group – this is important, especially for those who have a rare blood group and may need blood in a hurry in an emergency situation.
- Medical Reasons & Conditions – People who have a rare disease like Sickle Cell Anemia, and those who have had Gastric Bypass Surgery or Surgery, Transplant and Cancer Patients. Anyone who is suffering from Hypertension, Hypoglycemia or Hemophilia, has a Pulmonary Condition such as COPD, Asthma, or Emphysema; anyone who has an Adrenal insufficiency, or suffers from Asplenia, Acute porphyria, or Von Willebrand Disease should wear medical alarm bracelets.
- “ICE” – Contact details for an “In Case of an Emergency” person or Next of Kin. Even if you have no medical problems or allergies, this will make it easier for authorities to get in touch with someone in the case of an emergency.
- Anybody, really, especially if you are traveling – If you are traveling abroad it is a good idea to wear a medical id bracelet.
These medical id bracelets work something like the dog-tags that the army wears, but they have far more than just an identity on them. The information that is engraved on the metal disc of the medic alert bracelet is vital medical information which could save the wearer’s life in an emergency situation where the medical or emergency staff cannot get hold of next-of-kin to access this information quickly enough. All medical and Emergency staff has been trained to look for medical alert jewelry.
Medical alert bracelets are crucial because they speak for those who cannot. They effectively communicate relevant information when the patient cannot speak and this allows the medical personnel to render the appropriate care and treatment. This is especially important for people who suffer from dementia or any condition which affects the mental health, as such people can get lost very easily, and by wearing medic alert bracelets for adults they can be easily helped and their families contacted instead of them landing up in the hospital, homeless shelter or even worse, on the streets.
How to register for Medical Alert Bracelets
The MedicAlert Foundation provides the following services
- Identity Pendants or medical alert id bracelets for children and medical alert bracelets for women, men, and for seniors.
- These pendants and bracelets come in various materials and styles, and include a wallet card for you to carry.
- Children’s and Adult memberships come with a family notification system and an emergency response line.
- Senior and Safe Return memberships include adult membership, an ID, consultation services and a GPS locator on the ID. This is very helpful for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- The emergency number that is given can be phoned for all medical details of the wearer.
Complete the Application Form
- Make sure that the information you fill in on the form for your medical alert bracelet is correct according to what your doctor has told you (or they can fill in the medical portion for you).
- Make sure that you keep your address and contact details updated at all times.
- Ensure that the fit is right
- Make sure that you measure your wrist right and leave a bit of room so that the bracelet is not too loose or too tight, even if you pick up or lose a bit of weight.
- For those who are prone to weight fluctuations and growing children it may be better to get adjustable bands.
Other Forms of Medical ID Bracelets
- There are many other companies who offer medical id bracelets for those who just really want and identity tag. It is worth rather being registered though, so even if you buy a tag that is more fashionable; make sure it has the MedicAlert insignia on it and relevant medical information too.
- There are also other genuine companies who offer registration and a medical line to access the information, just make sure that you register with a genuine company and not some fly-by-night just trying to make a buck.
Medical alert bracelets have come a long way since their inception in 1956, when they were purely a means of alert of an allergy or underlying medical condition which was not patently obvious, and identification. There are now many different styles of medic alert bracelets for adults, medic alert bracelets for children and medic alert bracelets for women available.
Medical alert bracelets have also joined the technological revolution. Apart from the fact that many people feel that although they are a good idea, the disc is just not big enough to contain all the relevant information. Technology has come to the rescue.
Some of the modern advances are
- Medical USB Sticks which can carry far more information than can be inscribed on a medallion. This is recommended for those who have a long medical history. These USB sticks can be carried on a key chain or worn on a chain around one’s neck.
- Panic Button Bracelets for those seniors or anyone else who has a balance problem. This allows the wearer to press the panic button and speak to someone to ask for assistance if they have fallen and cannot get up.
- TextID bracelets are the latest innovation. These medical alert bracelets, which have just come on the market this month, use text messaging to convey information to emergency personnel in the case of an emergency. They are engraved with an identification number which can be texted in order to access the wearer’s medical information and emergency contact information.
Medical alert bracelets have become a functional piece of jewelry these days and there are many online companies that specialize in designing wonderful and beautiful styles, especially when it comes to medical alert bracelets for women. You can get anything from the original stainless steel or silver bracelet to gold, diamonds, silicone flex medical id bracelets, beaded medical id bracelets, to hand crafted, vintage, casual, and pearl medic alert bracelets for women. For those how love nature, you can invest in a medic alert bracelet featuring natural stones such as black onyx, turquoise, and tourmaline mixed with sterling silver Bali beads. Leather and cotton and Swarovski crystals are just some of the other styles which are available.
A final word on medical alert bracelets comes from the original MedicAlert foundation. There are scammers out there who will sell medical alert id bracelets for adults which are not backed up with any type of identification and information service and are not linked to a 24-hour emergency hotline, so are in effect inefficient as anything other than a piece of jewelry.