Should You Be Wearing Medical Alert Jewelry?
This entry was posted on April 27, 2011.
Medical alert jewelry can be a literal life-saver in an emergency. But, who should wear them? What should be engraved on them? And what are the benefits, precisely?
There is an extensive range of conditions that necessitate wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace. Among the most common conditions are diabetes, food and drug allergies, and epilepsy. Others conditions that need identification are autism, epilepsy, lymphedema, dementia, and hearing and/or sight impairment. Transplant patients and others with implanted medical devices should also wear medical ID jewelry. There are many other diseases, especially rare conditions, for which wearing medical alert jewelry is prescribed.
The engraving on the medical ID jewelry should list the condition the person has; any allergies he or she has to drugs, foods, and/or insect stings; and the names of the drugs that the individual takes. If there is room, the person’s name and an emergency phone number should be listed along with the number of his or her doctor. Additional information should be kept in a wallet ID and/or on a USB flashdrive.
Medical alert jewelry is essential in an emergency in a number of ways. Most importantly, they provide essential treatment information when a patient isn’t able to communicate. Being able to identify the most likely cause for symptoms gets faster treatment for the patient and can prevent misdiagnosis and medical errors.
A specific benefit of medical alert jewelry for diabetics is its ability to correctly identify for the responder the cause of the staggering and slurring of speech typical in hypoglycemia. A medical alert necklace or bracelet on a diabetic suffering a hypoglycemic episode can prevent a responder for dismissing the condition as alcoholic intoxication.
A person who is unconscious may be inadvertently administered a drug he or she is seriously allergic to without a medical alert tag. In this case, the medical ID bracelet or necklace will prevent an injury from being made worse by an allergic reaction.
Medical ID jewelry is very useful for people with autism. Often, autistic people have trouble communicating. If someone with autism became lost, a medical alert id would communicate emergency information with ease to the person trying help. Providing medical alert jewelry to someone with autism is particularly important due to the tendency of autistic people to wander off.
Wandering and becoming lost is also an issue for those with dementia. It is also common for people with dementia to wander off and not be able to identify emergency phone numbers and details. This is why wearing medical alert charms, bracelets or necklaces is important for those living with dementia.
Listing a rare disease on medical alert jewelry is important to help responders identify symptoms that they may not be familiar with. This will reduce the possibility of a misdiagnosis and speed up access to treatment.
Doctors must be aware of medically implanted devices like pacemakers due to the potential interference that may occur with certain medical tests. If the patient is not conscious and/or unable to talk, a medical ID bracelet or necklace will alert doctors to precautions they must take in treatment.
While many more diseases and conditions not listed also require the patient to wear a medical alert ID, the main reasons have been outlined. An ID is critical to alerting to an effective response to an emergency situation.