Most people have heard of medical alert bracelets and many even know someone who wears one. However, what you may not know is that these bracelets and similar jewelry save lives every single day. In a world that becomes more advanced each passing month, this simple, basic, low-tech solution helps people in distress get the medical care that they need.
Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about medical alert bracelets. There may come a time in your life at which it will be helpful for you to wear one for your own safety. You may know someone who should be wearing one now who isn’t already.
What Is a Medical Alert Bracelet?
Medical alert bracelets are jewelry worn by people with serious medical conditions. They include a hanging tag or pendant that includes information about the person’s identity and medical health. This information will be helpful to others in an emergency.
These bracelets are a wonderful way to impart crucial information when the wearer may not be able to do so himself or herself. If the individual is unconscious, first responders will be able to know a bit of that person’s medical history immediately. If the person is not unconscious but cannot speak or cannot remember his or her identity, medical alert bracelets will be a big help, too.
Where Did This Idea Begin?
Jewelry with medical information on it was introduced in 1953. The first company to create custom medical alert bracelets was MedicAlert and they are still the leader in the industry. This non-profit company offers its personalized jewelry at affordable prices to help people get the help they need in emergencies. The company states on its website that over four million lives have been saved since its beginnings thanks to these jewelry items.
What Information Should Be Included?
Whether the medical alert bracelet you purchase and wear is from MedicAlert or somewhere else, there are two main things that should appear upon it. The first is the names of medical conditions that you have that could cause death and that will make you unconscious. Second, if you have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order, that should be listed clearly as well.
Tags from the MedicAlert company include the individual’s, name and medical condition. They also display the company’s 1-800 number and a unique identification number for the individual. In the event of an emergency, the first responders can call the number and give the ID number to the operator. Then, he or she can send the patient’s health records. His or her pre-existing conditions, medications, and more to the hospital or doctor that will treat the patient.
Because there is so little space on a medical alert bracelet, some wearers also carry a metal card in their wallet. The card is engraved with their medical information. On their bracelet, they simply include a phrase that directs medical personnel to check their wallet for more information.
How Do These Bracelets Help People?
When it comes to medical care, knowing is half the battle. If someone is on medication that may have contraindications with likely medical treatment, then the first responders and doctors will know this information without even having to speak to the patient. If an elderly individual that is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease forgets where he or she is, or if a person with Autism is experiencing a sensory-triggered episode, medical professionals can quickly summon help from their caregivers without much difficulty.
Also, a medical alert bracelet can actually save a patient from a trip to the hospital. If someone has a seizure disorder, he or she may have several seizures per week and may feel just fine after a few minutes. Without medical alert jewelry, first responders will not know this information. If this information is listed on the bracelet, they may know that hospitalization is not necessary.
Conditions That Can Benefit From Medical Alert Bracelets
Medical alert bracelets are available to anyone who wants to wear one. Police officers, firefighters, and EMTs are trained to look for them in an emergency. However, they are not always found in the rush to give care. Still, they are worth wearing by anyone who has a severe or chronic condition. They are also helpful for anyone who may be unable to express that they have a disablement, condition, or illness.
Some of the most common conditions for which people wear medical alert bracelets are epilepsy or other seizure disorders, severe food allergies, autism, diabetes, dementia, heart or lung disorders. Other people who may consider wearing them include people with hearing problems, people with drug allergies, individuals with hemophilia, anyone with mental health disorders, individuals suffering from traumatic brain injuries, and people with pacemakers.
Conditions for Which Medical Alert Bracelets Aren’t Necessary
There are also many conditions for which medical alert bracelets are not necessary. However, if it makes someone feel better, they should wear one anyway.
Although diabetes is a primary reason that many wearers of medical alert bracelets have one, EMTs check blood sugar levels of all unconscious patients automatically today.
Also, if you have allergies, the signs and symptoms are usually obvious to first responders. They will treat you the same way no matter what caused your allergic reaction. If you are allergic to certain medications, though, you will want to include that on your medical jewelry.
Medical Alert Bracelets Save Lives
It’s amazing what medical alert bracelets can do to save lives. If you are in the market for one, look for a one that is pretty or attractive so you will want to wear it every day. Make sure it is made of non-corrosive material and check to see if it fits you well. What you choose to have engraved or printed on it needs to be easy to read. There should also be a medical symbol featured clearly for fast recognition by medical personnel.
Wearing a medical alert bracelet will give you and your loved one’s peace of mind if an emergency ever does arise.