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Why Wear A Medical Bracelet If You Have No Spleen?

September 01, 2023

Why Wear A Medical Bracelet If You Have No Spleen?

If you’ve just found out from your doctor that you need your spleen removed, you might feel overwhelmed or unsure as to how you should manage your condition. This blog will explain why wearing a no spleen medical bracelet can help you communicate your condition to others better and how it may save your life during an emergency. 

 

What is a Splenectomy? 

A Splenectomy is a surgical procedure in which the spleen is removed. The spleen is an organ that’s located under your rib cage on the upper left side of your abdomen. It has many important functions, including fighting off invading infections in the blood using white blood cells, filtering the blood and removing any old or damaged red blood cells from circulation, and controlling the level of blood cells in the body (white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets). 

 

What causes the spleen to be removed? 

There are a variety of reasons why your spleen might need removal. These include:

  • Ruptured spleen
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Blood disorder
  • Cancer
  • Infection
  • Cyst or tumour

Mayoclinic.org explains in more detail why a Splenectomy is carried out.

A ruptured spleen is the most common reason to have a Splenectomy, often caused by abdominal injury. In addition, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) is the most common disease-related reason for having the spleen removed. This is an autoimmune condition in which the antibodies target the blood platelets. Platelets are needed to help the blood clot, so a person with ITP is at risk of bleeding out. Have a look at our ITP Low Platelets medical wristband.

Knowing the reason for having a Splenectomy is important as it alerts medical staff of a previous injury or other illnesses you might have that can aid in your treatment. 

 

How can a No Spleen 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 automatically find out what conditions you have or what medication you take, so the right treatment can be administered quickly.

 

Do I need a medical bracelet if I have no spleen? 

 

splenectomy greater risk infection

 

Greater risk of infection. 

Those who've had their spleen removed are at an increased risk of contracting potentially deadly infections from encapsulated bacteria. However, this risk is at its highest just after surgery and affects children more than adults. To prevent this, doctors may recommend having vaccines against Pneumonia, Influenza, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and Meningococci. In some cases, they may also recommend preventive antibiotics, especially for children under 5 and for anyone with other conditions that increase the risk of serious infections.

It is important to include this information on your medical bracelet as it will inform medical staff of your condition and what medication you might take. A medical alert bracelet can also include details of where to find your antibiotics, as well as having the emergency contact details of your family or doctor. When help arrives, you can then receive the most effective treatment as paramedics will quickly be able to identify the cause of your infection. 

 

no spleen low blood count

 

Decrease in blood cells. 

Since the spleen controls the level of blood cells in the body, having it removed can cause a decline of healthy red blood cells. A reduction in red blood cells can lead to anaemia – a condition in which you don’t get enough oxygen to your body’s tissues - and a reduction in white blood cells can lead to an increased risk of infection. In some cases, removing the spleen may reduce the amount of anti-platelet antibodies in addition to removing the antibody-coated platelets. This can cause an increase of bleeding and bruising.

Wearing a medical bracelet with a clear, personalised message can remind your family and those around you of your condition and that you’ll be administered the right treatment in an emergency. If you state you have low platelets, medical staff are unlikely to draw blood since this would worsen your condition. 

 

An invisible illness. 

As Splenectomy is considered an invisible illness, it can be difficult to communicate the challenges people are dealing with after surgery. As with most surgeries, a Splenectomy carries the potential risk of complications, including:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Injury to nearby organs, including your stomach, pancreas and colon

A medical bracelet with your medical condition ensures you’ll be treated quickly and effectively since medical staff will be alerted of the fact you have no spleen and identify the cause of your possible infection sooner, rather than wasting time trying to figure out what’s wrong while you’re unconscious and unable to communicate. 

 

engraving no spleen medical bracelet

 

What should I engrave on my no spleen 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 Spleen” or “Had Splenectomy” 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 Splenectomy. Helping others to understand your condition means you can receive the right treatment, as symbols will attract the attention of medical staff.

For anyone with this condition, we suggest wearing a silicone wristband to help communicate their condition better. 

 

support for no spleen

 

Where to go for more support. 

If you’ve just found out from your doctor that you need your spleen removed, you might feel overwhelmed or unsure as to how you should manage your condition. However, it is important to connect with others who’ve had a Splenectomy as they are likely to share similar experiences.

Want to know how to stay healthy after a Splenectomy? Check out this Harvard Heath blog post.

Read about Mr. Bill’s experience with Splenectomy.

Many people also have Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) in which their platelets are low. Check out this support group for ITP.

The NHS shares several ways to cope after a Splenectomy surgery.

The AAFP helps explain how to protect yourself after a Splenectomy.

If your child needs their spleen removed, Great Ormond Street Hospital explains the procedure with support.

Read more on how to keep yourself safe without a spleen.

 

Conclusion.

If you have no spleen, 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. Have a browse of our full range of medical jewellery.

 

We hope you’ve found this blog helpful. To stay up to date with the latest news and tips on medical jewellery, subscribe to our newsletter today! You’ll be the first to see new medical alert jewellery, tips to get you outside and active, and exclusive discounts. Plus, you’ll score a FREE digital wallet card for your emergency contacts.





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