What is a medical ID bracelet? What´s it used for? Who should wear a medical ID bracelet? What information should it have?
Many questions probably pop up in your head once you dive into this subject, and that´s exactly why we´re writing this blog. Today, we´re going back to the basics helping you understand how important a medical ID bracelet can be, and what you should consider when you´re choosing your own.
As the name itself says, a medical ID bracelet is a bracelet that has an engraved or stamped charm with personal medical information. But, why would anyone want to wear their medical conditions on their wrist?
You may wonder why it’s important to wear your medical conditions on a bracelet, and the truth is medical ID jewellery has only one big purpose … to speak for you whenever you can´t speak for yourself.
But, how can a simple bracelet advocate for me when I’m unable to explain my own medical history, you may ask? If you have a medical emergency the professionals will look for “ID products”. They´re trained to do that. Necklaces, bracelets, cards in your wallet, etc. They´ll be looking for relevant information that can help them, help you! Take a look at this article from the Journal of the Patient Safety.
But why a bracelet? Is the wrist really the best place?
For those who don´t feel comfortable by almost like announcing to the world they have a medical condition, because they´re wearing a “tag” on their wrist, let's think about this first.
What is really bothering you?
Most of the time is an aesthetic issue, and if you take a look at what medical bracelets look like nowadays, you might be surprised. There are a lot of different styles and colours, and we´ll be taking you through all of them in a few paragraphs ahead. But now, let´s focus on safety matters, which should be the first thing on your priority list.
For example, let´s think about movies or TV shows where one of the first things you “learn” is to check for the person’s pulse. There are a lot of things on these shows that might be unreal, but this one is very accurate. It´s also one of the first things we learn in first aid courses as well. So, looking back to our question, the answer is Yes! The wrist is the best place because inevitably people will check your wrist and that way you´ll guarantee they´ll get that information quicker.
Okay, but what should I engrave on my medical ID bracelet?
There isn´t a checklist you must follow and sometimes that’s exactly what makes it so hard to choose what to engrave. It is a very personal matter and should be well thought out, especially if you have more than one medical condition to consider.
If we needed to answer this question with bullet points this would be our suggestion:
The name doesn’t really need much explanation. This would be the way emergency responders identify and address you, as they´re taking care of you. Knowing your first name can be really helpful in communicating with you if you are in or out of consciousness. As it says on the Nursing Times article, “Individualised care can be achieved by addressing unconscious patients by their preferred name”.
Regarding medical conditions or allergies, this is the main purpose of having a Medical ID Bracelet, so this has to be clear to ensure you get the best care in an emergency.
Please write in Upper / Lowercase letters for improved legibility.
Capitals letters only make harder to read and that´s not what you want to happen if you´re on an emergency. Why? Read this UX movement article where they briefly explain “Why Text in All Caps Is Hard for Users to Read”.
Medication is also an important thing to be present. For example, if you are on blood thinners this might cause severe interactions with other drugs they might give you, because they didn´t know about this particular information and otherwise they wouldn´t have done it. In here, make sure you say whether you are taking a particular medication, or whether you are allergic to it. It’s really important to understand the difference in an emergency.
At last, an emergency contact. This one is also self-explanatory, as having an emergency contact is very important to the professionals that are taking care of you. That way they can have someone to call to get further information and especially if the person in question is a minor or has any type of incapacity.
All of this information must be written in short direct phrases to make it easier on the eyes, so the medical team can have access to this relevant information as quick as possible.
One other suggestion is to think about the ABCs we mentioned previously. This can work as a filter to help you choose the most relevant medical information. ABC stands for airway, breathing and circulation, which means that any condition you might have that can influence one of these three, is extremely important to be present on your bracelet. To help you understand this a little bit better, take a look at The Medical Minute article: The ABCs of handling emergency situations.
Please know that medical conditions or medication should be prioritised, if engraving space is tight. It is particularly relevant in an emergency so they know which step to take. You may not have room for everything, but these two are the priority things for a first responder to know.
In order to save space, you can also use well known medical abbreviations. Take a look at our blog post on medical abbreviations to help you out.
If you are unsure, please check with your doctor or specialist!
How a medical ID bracelet is used in an emergency? Can it make a difference?
As was previously mentioned, emergency professionals are trained to look for ID products, which means that once you get yourself caught in a medical emergency, someone will be checking for any information that might help them give you the best care possible.
It influences the path they´ll take.
For some people, this may not make much sense, but if we take time to think about it, the phrase “Medical ID bracelet saved my life” couldn´t be more real. Let´s imagines these situations:
These are all very common scenarios and medical ID bracelets have a very important role in guiding doctors through these emergencies. To help you understand their impact, listen to Brian Luscomb, an EMT at the City of Humble Fire Department in Texas, explaining how important medical ID bracelets are.
How to choose medical jewellery that fits your lifestyle?
This is the fun part, where you finally get to choose what fits best your personality. There are many styles, colours, and bead options, you name it! You could even have more than one to wear according to the occasion.
Here what counts is creativity, your personality and above all else, comfort. A medical ID bracelet should be seen as a safety jewellery piece. Besides being pretty, masculine, or edgy, it must make you feel comfortable ... not only on the wrist but also with the message that is engraved.
Now it´s time for you to think about your daily life. Are you a sports fan? Maybe you like swimming? Well, for this we suggest something easy to take on and off, and definitely water resistant, like Silicone Wristbands.
If you wish for something more discrete, a cord bracelet would be a good option. There are also the classic chain bracelets, which can easily adapt to a more formal or even casual dress code. And one more option that should definitely be mentioned, because of its elegance, is a beads bracelet. There are many styles, that can give a little extra glow to your look. It´s your turn to have fun finding your perfect match!
In conclusion, if you had to sum up the answer to “What is a Medical ID Bracelet?” in one word … Safety would be it. The medical jewellery industry is all about finding the best way for you to get your conditions noticed by professionals if you find yourself caught in a medical emergency. And that is now done with some beauty in the mix. No more flashy ugly bracelets with big red letters.
So, what is your excuse for not wearing one?
Remember, it´s your safety wrapped up in a beautiful bracelet.
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