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Medical Jewelry Resources

What are medical IDs?

In the midst of a medical emergency, so many things are happening at once. And in the rush to get someone medical attention, it can be easy for the details to get lost in the confusion. But those very details (medical history, allergies, prescription medications, etc) are often critical to the emergency care that someone receives precisely when they need it most. Wearing IDs with your critical medical info on them makes such a difference in the care you receive that the following healthcare organizations recommend them:

  • The American Heart Association
  • The Alzheimer’s Association
  • The American Diabetes Association
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Columbia University Medical Center
  • The Epilepsy Foundation
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • The Mayo Clinic
  • The Texas Heart Institute
  • Autism Speaks

The difference that accurate, immediate health information can make in emergency care is significant, which is why experts often recommend them for people with certain sensitivities and health issues.

Why are medical IDs important?

This is why medical IDs are so vital to people with serious health conditions; the information contained on a bracelet, pendant or tag can alert emergency personnel to their particular sensitivities or vulnerabilities and help save that person’s life. Without a medical ID to direct them, medical personnel simply have to treat patients like anybody else, unaware of their particular medical history.

Medical mistakes are disturbingly common in hospitals, too. As many as 98,000 deaths occur each year due to medical mistakes. A congressionally mandated study from 2008 found that 1 in 7 Medicare hospital patients experienced at least one unintended harm that extended their stay, required life-sustaining treatment or resulted in death. Those are disquieting numbers, but you can significantly reduce the likelihood of medical mistakes by wearing a medical ID that will alert healthcare providers of your condition and prevent serious medical mishaps.

There are a number of medical conditions for which children and adults often wear medical ID tags for. Since everyone’s health is different, the vital medical information they indicate on their IDs differs, too:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Uncommon diseases
  • Drug Allergies (penicillin, aspirin, prescriptions, etc.)
  • Food Allergies
  • Insect Allergies (bee stings, spider bites, etc.)
  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma
  • Pulmonary disorders
  • Anemia
  • Special medications (steroids, beta blockers, chemotherapy drugs, etc.)
  • Visual or hearing impairment
  • Mental disabilities or mental illness (Alzheimer’s, dementia, bipolar disorder, etc.)
  • Kidney failure
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Transplant recipients
  • Medical implant recipients
  • Surgical and cancer patients (pacemakers, heart valves, etc.)
  • Abnormal EKG

If you or your child have any of the above health conditions, you may want to talk about which health alerts are most relevant to EMTs, emergency room doctors or other medical personnel in case of a serious medical event. You can then make sure to include that specific information prominently.

Frequently Asked Questions about Medical ID Jewelry

People’s health conditions and directives are so diverse, there are often a lot of different questions about what medical IDs are really supposed to be used for and what information to include on them. These frequently asked questions will help you determine exactly what kind of jewelry is right for you and what type of information to include.

What types of medical alert jewelry are there?

When checking for medical ID, emergency services usually check for a few things: a wallet, a keychain, a bracelet or some type of necklace with identifying medical information on it. Durable bracelets tend to be preferred for children who are frequently playing outside and may be more rough-and-tumble. Adults and children alike may wear a necklace or chain with a medical ID charm or tags containing their relevant information.

Do I need a prescription?

No, you do not need a prescription from a doctor in order to get a medical ID. It is a good idea, however, to consult your doctor about what types of information should be included on your jewelry as some things related to your health condition may be more relevant than others in an emergency.

What kind of information should I put on my ID?

Generally the most important information that would be necessary in an emergency, not your entire health history, is the best to include. People often include:

  • Serious Health Conditions
  • Health Directives (DNR, etc.)
  • Medications
  • Blood Type
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Religion
  • Instructions to check a wallet card for more information

Even a little bit of information can help prevent you from getting the wrong medication or treatment in emergency situation. A bracelet with medical ID can help other people make the right healthcare choices for someone who is unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate those details, and those small choices can have a big impact on the immediate and long-term outcome of that medical care.

Is there a specific style my ID has to follow?

No, there are not set styles for medical jewelry. You can style your medical bracelet, necklace, pendant or dog tags however you like. N-Style ID carries numerous styles for kids and adults, from stainless steel dog tag IDs to pendants embedded with your birth stone to water-proof jelly bands for kids. All of them have commonly recognized medical symbols so they can be easily spotted by medical personnel.

The really important thing is to make sure that the information on the tag is clearly visible and that the jewelry is instantly recognizable as a medical ID.

Do I have to wear my ID all the time?

Many medical ID tags are designed to be worn 24/7, even while you’re sleeping, swimming or working. It’s advisable that you keep it on you at all times because you never know when a significant health event could occur. If you’re concerned about getting your bracelet or necklace wet in the shower or at the pool, you may want to consider jewelry made of rubber, non-rusting metals or water-proof woven materials.

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