Medical ID Bracelets: What Information to Include


The purpose of medical identification (warning) jewelry (identification necklaces and bracelets with medical information printed on them) is to provide emergency workers with information about any conditions you may have or other problems that may be relevant to your treatment if, if you lose consciousness or otherwise incapacitated.

Medical ID card jewelry has been around since 1953. Most first responders are trained to look for such a necklace or bracelet when triage a patient. Some people also get a tattoo or use an app for the same purpose, although healthcare professionals may not refer to them as often.

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Important information for inclusion

Since space in traditional jewelry for medical alerts is limited and emergency personnel must be able to see information clearly, you will need to prioritize some details over others.

Talk to your doctor first about whether buying medical jewelry is a good idea or not necessary, and then what information to include if you decide to go ahead.

Important information to consider when donning medical identification jewelry:

  • Medical Conditions : List any chronic medical conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. In particular, be sure to list any conditions that may render you or your loved one unable to communicate with emergency personnel (eg, seizure disorder) and / or may be fatal.
  • Medications: If you are taking anticoagulant medications, please indicate them at the top of the health warnings. This alerts emergency personnel that you may have internal bleeding if injured. Likewise, if you have a severe allergy to a drug, state it so you don't have to take it in an emergency.
  • Medical devices – For example, if you have a pacemaker.
  • Blood type: In some cases (for example, you have a blood disorder) it may also be advisable to indicate your blood type.
  • Whether or not you have organ transplants: You may be taking immunosuppressants, which can make you particularly susceptible to infection.
  • Communication / Collaboration Issues – Having schizophrenia or autism, and limitations such as non-verbalism or deafness are some examples of what you can list so that the medical team knows why you or your loved one are not responding as expected.
  • Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNR): There is only one medical intervention so important that a physician's order is required for non -compliance: CPR . If you have a DNR order, a DNR order if necessary to save your life, you should wear something that says exactly that.
  • Instructions: For example, "Call 911" or the phone number of your contact person. It can also be useful for outsiders.

Replace medical alert jewelry over time if your medical needs have changed significantly and this should be reflected.

Star of life

Ideally, medical identification cards should bear a medical emblem known as the Star of Life, with a snake and a staff symbol. This will alert respondents that you are wearing jewelry that needs to be checked in an emergency.

Medical ID Card Abbreviations for Jewelry
Alzheimer disease ALZ
Type 2 diabetes and insulin DM2-INSULIN
Atrial fibrillation AFIB
Sulfonamide allergy WITHOUT SULFUR
Kidney transplant recipient KIDNEY TX
You are taking a blood thinner FOR BLOOD THINNER
It is often used to refer to certain medical problems.

Benefits of medical jewelry

Wearing medical jewelry has several benefits. If you are unsure about investing in a part, here are some advantages to weigh:

Quality of service

You will most likely receive faster treatment when the first responder arrives on the scene.

The information you provide in your alert can also help staff choose the treatment that is not only effective but also safer for you based on your health profile. For example, you will not be given a drug that you are allergic to.

Also, you are less likely to be misdiagnosed when you are out of immediate danger and go to the hospital; Having important health information on hand can help rule out or rule out certain diagnoses.


Information that can help the paramedic better understand why you are showing signs that you are, can help them determine the correct next steps.

For example, you may wake up after a seizure in the emergency room. This is because seizures occur from a number of life-threatening causes .

But if you have a seizure disorder such as epilepsy, you may have seizures several times a week that do not require emergency treatment. Wearing medical jewelry for identification cards is one thing to report to paramedics. With that in mind, instead of taking you to the hospital, they will likely just wait until you wake up from the attack and advise you what to do next.

On the other hand, medical gems that say you have a brain tumor may indicate that a seizure is a life-threatening event. In this case, a paramedic will immediately take you to the hospital .

Eyewitness response

Medical ID card jewelry can also be helpful to non-medical personnel who may find you in danger.

For example, the National Institute on Aging recommends that people with Alzheimer's carry identification with their diagnosis in case they get lost and misplaced .

For children with life-threatening allergies, it can be helpful for school or camp staff who may not know it. And for a person with diabetes suffering from insulin shock, a medical ID can cause a passerby to give him orange juice or candy.

Lack of guidelines

While many medical bodies (such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) advocate that patients wear medical jewelry for their ID cards, there are currently no national guidelines, or any other approved by a medical association or society. , that expressly endorse the use of medical jewelry or what it should or should not contain.

Companies that sell jewelry make suggestions and consumers can put whatever they want. In some cases, this can lead to misunderstandings.

Also, while many healthcare professionals are trained to search for medical jewelry, they are not required to search for it, especially if it is not readily visible.

High-tech options

Some new medical ID options address space limitations by allowing you to keep a record of personal health information in the cloud so that it can be accessed via a QR code, a website, or by calling the phone number listed. on the necklace. or a bracelet instead.

On the other hand, it allows you to share more information with your healthcare providers than fits on jewelry. It also gives you the ability to update this information as needed. However, since emergency personnel have to go one step further to access information, these options can delay knowing important details about your health.

Get the word of drug information

It is important to remember that while listing health conditions on medical jewelry doesn't hurt, a qualified healthcare professional will quickly assess a person's current condition (breathing, consciousness, pulse, etc.), without necessarily taking into account the specific and pre-existing conditions. . For example, if a person with asthma requires emergency care but their asthma is unknown to the healthcare professional, the respiratory distress will be evident and treated according to protocol.

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