Millions of Americans suffer medical conditions or drug allergies that emergency room personnel or EMTs would need to know before treating them. Because in these situations the patient is frequently unable to communicate with the EMT, doctor or nurse, medical alert bracelets are necessary.
Some people who need to carry this type of information may object to wearing a bracelet that they feel “advertises” their medical condition to anyone around them.
A recent campaign has been announced by the American College of Emergency Physicians encourage everyone to wear some form of medical identification. “Seconds Saves Lives,” with brochures to be distributed in 1,000 emergency rooms this fall, will highlight the importance of this information for medical emergencies.
Among other things, the group advises people to carry an emergency medical ID card or wear medical ID jewelry if they have a health condition, allergy, implanted device or if they are taking medications that might be life-threatening in certain circumstances.
Because of the resistance of some to wearing traditional forms of medical identification, the market has responded with jewelry that is less obviously a medical alert bracelet and more “Bling.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Tiffany’s is now selling a $2,250.00 bracelet and many other providers have come up with various styles and designs at a wide range of prices.
Many of the styles allow the medical information to be less obvious, such as a dog tag worn under clothing. For those who do not want to wear jewelry, there are other choices.
Stickers or Flash Drives
Some companies sell cards that can be placed in a wallet or a sticker that goes on the back of a watch. The card or sticker lists a phone and ID number that allows a doctor to find out any specific, complex information about your medical condition. This can be helpful if you have more information that would fit on a bracelet; these systems generally charge a subscription fee.
Another variation is to carry a flash drive that contains all of your medical information and would provide it quickly to emergency personnel. These flash drives can be loaded at home, and easily updated to keep them current.
One doctor even notes you should load the information on your cell phone, along with important contacts that would enable doctors to identify whom they should call to find out prescriptions, drug allergies or other medical conditions they should be aware of before beginning treatment.
Have Some Method of Alerting Medical Personal of your Condition
No matter what method you choose, it is of the utmost importance that you have something that allows medical personnel to know what your medical issues are. From being diabetic to being allergic to penicillin, to having been treated for bone cancer and required special irradiated blood for any transfusion, this information is vital for a treating physician or EMT. They may have seconds to decide on treatment and having this information could save your life.