If you have a medical condition, allergy or are unable to have specific treatments it is critical to have a bracelet, necklace or ID card that communicates this in an emergency.
When a first responder is assessing a patient, they usually work through an A-B-C method -- assessing your airway, breathing and circulation. If you have a medical condition that affects one of these areas it is important to highlight this on your medical bracelet.
For instance, you may have issues with high or low blood pressure, carry an epi-pen or may have a pacemaker, all of which would impact the way you are treated by first responders.
But what if you don't have enough space on the charm?
Medical jewellery design is a balancing act between look and function. Smaller charms are often more appealing in jewellery design, but you need to make sure that the right information is put across within the character limits.
Less is often more. A medical bracelet inscription that is quickly and easily read will be most effective. Consider what will really make a difference in an emergency. It's not the place to include your full medical record.
If you need to list quite detailed information, it can often be helpful to have a simple bracelet inscription that says "see wallet card" or "call XXX for detailed medical info".
Abbreviations can help
Common medical abbreviations can be very helpful if you need to fit extra wording onto your charm, or if you want to keep your text short and sharp.
But it is important to make sure that you balance the advantages of brevity, with any chance of possible confusion or ambiguity. Stick to well known abbreviations to make sure that they are well understood.
Common abbreviations for medical alert bracelets
Here is a list of common abbreviations for medical conditions and terms that may be useful when planning what to include on your medical alert jewellery:
ADHD -- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
A-FIB (or AF) -- Atrial Fibriliation
ALRG -- Allergies
AODM -- Adult Onset Diabetes Mellitus
ASD -- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
BP -- Blood Pressure (Use Low / High to indicate issue)
CA -- Cancer
CABG -- Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
CF -- Cystic Fibrosis
CHF -- Congestive Heart Failure
COPD -- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
CV -- Cardiovascular
CVA -- Stroke
CT -- Chemotherapy
DNR -- Do Not Resuscitate
DVT -- Deep Vein Thrombosis
EDS -- Ehler-Danlos Syndrome
EpiPen -- Epinephrine Pen
GI -- Gastrointestinal
HTN -- Hypertension
ICD -- Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
IDDM -- Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
L -- Left
MS - Multiple Sclerosis
NIDDM -- Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
NKA - No Known Allergies
NSAIDs -- Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
PTSD -- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
R -- Right
RA -- Rheumatoid Arthritis
T1D or T2D -- Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
T1 Diabetes or T2 Diabetes -- Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
VWD -- Von Willebrand's Disease
VT/v tach -- Ventricular Tachycardia
If you have a lot of information to include on your medical alert bracelet or necklace using these abbreviations can help you save space whilst making sure your medical needs are communicated in the event of an emergency.
Formatting an abbreviation
It is generally not necessary to put extra periods or full stops in an abbreviation, although it will still be understood if you do so. For example "C.O.P.D." is commonly written as "COPD".
Need some advice?
We will always try and ensure customers get as much information on their medical alert bracelets as they need. If you have any questions about which medical information is most important in an emergency, please ask your doctor or specialist.
If you are unsure of the best way to get your information to fit on the charm of your item, we are always happy to advise on engraving layouts after you have placed your order. Or drop us a line on email@example.com if you would like any help on getting your text to fit.
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It is important that you take the time to read them carefully. They will be updated from time to time without notice (current version is 1.02), and you can always access the current version of the terms on this webpage.
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Explanation of Terminology