If you’ve just found out from your doctor that you need an implant, or you’ve just had an implant inserted, then you might feel a little overwhelmed or unsure as to how you should manage the device or your underlying condition. Wearing a medical bracelet can help you communicate to others that you have an implant and may save your life during an emergency.
What are Implants?
Medical implants can be used to replace body parts that are no longer functioning as they should, or to deliver medications, monitor and regulate body functions, and to provide support to organs and tissues. Some implants are inert and intended to provide structural support such as surgical meshes or stents.
There are many types of implants:
Fda.gov lists a few more types of implants that may relate to you.
How can a medical bracelet support you in an emergency?
A medical bracelet (or necklace) is designed to alert people of your medical conditions or any other concerns you might have that may be relevant to your care in the event you become unconscious or otherwise incapacitated. Medical alert jewellery is conveniently placed at your pulse points at your wrist and neck, so when first responders check your pulse, they will quickly find out what conditions you have or what medication you take, so the right treatment can be administered.
Do I need a medical bracelet if I have an Implant?
MRI Scans can be dangerous for implants.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to form pictures of the anatomy and the physiology processes of the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, and radio waves to generate images of the organs in the body. Implants such as cochlear implants, nerve stimulators, and any form of metal plates, screws, wires or rods (among other implants), are often incompatible with MRIs. If carried out, this may have dangerous consequences.
Wearing a medical bracelet with ‘No MRI’ engraved onto it can alert emergency medical staff that you cannot have MRI scans, or that you must have a metal implant that prevents you from having a scan. In an emergency where you find yourself unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, a medical bracelet can pass on information about your implant when you cannot.
Greater risk of infection.
Inserting foreign devices into the human body always poses the risk of serious complications. Bacterial infection remains the most common. Despite tremendous improvements in surgical procedures, biomaterial-associated infections remain the dominant cause of implant failure.
Implant infection involves complex interactions between the pathogen, the biomaterial and the host immune response to both. Usually, if infection does happen, your implant will be removed, and it will be replaced by a sterile one. If it cannot be removed, antibiotics can be prescribed to treat the infection.
A medical bracelet with this sort of information can alert first responders that you have an implant inserted and where to find your antibiotics, if you take any. This will help reduce pain and stop you from having an overdose, if the doctor was to administer anything further.
What should I engrave on my Implants bracelet?
Your bracelet might state a diagnosis, so your symptoms are instantly recognised, or it could give a directive such as “Call (Name) on +44 123 456789”, so your family can be notified of what has happened and advise doctors on your behalf.
As a guideline, your bracelet should say "No MRI” if you have a metal implant, or state the type of implant you have, so it explains your symptoms when you cannot. You may wish to include your name, any other conditions you may have, details of any allergies and where to find your medication (if you take any).
We recommend that all medical bracelets or necklaces include a medical symbol. This means that if you become unwell and are unable to communicate, people that check your pulse can find your medical alert bracelet and information about your Implant. Helping others to understand your condition means you can receive the right treatment, as symbols will attract the attention of medical staff.
Where to go for more support:
If you’ve just found out from your doctor that you need an implant, or you’ve just had an implant inserted, then you might feel a bit overwhelmed. It can help to connect with others who’ve had implants as they are likely to share similar experiences. You may also find it helpful to read about other people’s experiences with getting an implant.
Not sure whether you can have an MRI or not? The NHS provides support.
Read about the risks of an MRI scan.
Ausrad.com explains in more detail who can have an MRI.
The ICIJ explains the dangers of having a non-working implant in the body and shares some people’s experiences.
If you have an implant, wearing a medical alert bracelet can allow you to feel like yourself again. You can choose your own style, design and engraving and let others know how to help you in an emergency. Equally, friends and family members are reassured by the fact that they can keep in contact with you.
If you have any further questions about implants, please leave a comment below, or contact us through email@example.com
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