Medical ID’s such as bracelets and necklaces are are often worn by people with allergies, diabetes, and other medical conditions, as recommended by doctors and other healthcare professionals. You can spot a medical ID on someone as it will generally have the above symbol on it (the staff of Asclepius).
choosing a medical ID
A medical ID is probably the most important piece of jewellery that the wearer will own, and therefore there are some things to consider before choosing what type of medical ID jewellery you want to go for.
- Make sure you choose a style that you will actually wear. Medical professionals will check both the wrists and the neck for a medical ID, so either a bracelet or necklace will be suitable. If you prefer something a little more discreet then opt for a medical ID necklace which can be tucked into clothing, however medical ID bracelets are easier for a medic to see.
- Choose a suitable metal for your piece of jewellery. If you are allergic to certain metal types do take this into consideration when choosing what metal type to go for. Also take into consideration how durable you want the item to be. For example, if you have a fairly active lifestyle it may be best to opt for a harder metal such as stainless steel which will be more scratch resistant than say silver.
[zilla_alert style=”grey”]Read more about the pros and cons of each metal type in our guide to metal types for jewellery [/zilla_alert]
- Consider how much information you need to engrave. If you have multiple medical conditions or you need to include a relatively large list of medications for example, it would be best to opt for a larger medical ID or one which can be engraved on both sides. You don’t want the engraving text to be so small that a medical professional will not be able to read it easily.
what to include on a medical ID
The plate of the medical ID is engraved with the medical condition of the wearer as well as what to do in case of emergency. This can include who to contact and what medication the wearer is on, as well as other vital information for paramedics and medical staff. Medical IDs can be life saving, if the wearer is unable to speak.
It is recommended to list prescription medications that are being taken on a long-term basis alongside the medical condition. This is important for the medical personnel who are treating the wearer of the bracelet, as it enables them to treat the wearer with less change of drug interaction.
do you have to include your name on a medical ID?
Although there are no strict rules on what to engrave on medical IDs, and some people prefer not to put their full name on their jewellery, it is advisable to have your first name on there. This is helpful to medical staff who may be treating you, for example if you are not conscious they may try saying your name to help you come around.
what medical conditions should be on a medical ID?
There are a wide variety of conditions that warrant a medical ID, however below are some examples:
- Allergies (e.g. food & insect allergies)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Diabetes (insulin dependent)
- Diabetes (non-insulin dependent)
- Malignant hyperthermia
- Pacemaker or ICD implant
- Seizure disorder
- Visual Impairment
tips on choosing how to engrave your bracelet
- make sure the information is concise, summarised with short words to not waste space
- only list conditions which are important for someone to know in an emergency
- list medicines which have been taken for a long period of time
If you’re still not sure on what to engrave on your medical alert bracelet it is best to contact your doctor or a pharmacist so they can advise.
benefits of wearing a medical ID
We spoke to a care worker, Imogen Ellis, to see how medical ID’s have helped in her career.
“When I worked in the childcare sector, there was a young boy that had a medical bracelet as he had a heart condition, that as staff, we only found out about after he went onto seizure. Once he had the bracelet, it made new and old staff aware of his medical condition, and how to make sure we reduced the risks of him falling into a fit/seizure. As a professional in this industry, Medical ID’s are so important, especially where there are communication barriers, as they make you aware that there is a need, and once you know what the need is, you know what action you need to take.” – Imogen Ellis, Care Worker
- If you are unable to speak in an emergency, and no one is there to speak on your behalf, a medical ID will speak for you by letting the medical professional know important details about your medical condition
- Allows for a prompt diagnosis
- Prevents unnecessary hospital admissions
- Protects against medical errors