If you have a heart condition, wearing a medical bracelet can help you communicate your condition to others, and may save your life during an emergency.
What is a heart condition?
A heart condition is any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is used narrowly as a synonym for coronary artery disease. But there are actually a wide range of conditions that affect the heart. And the term cardiovascular disease includes any disease of the heart or blood vessels.
Here are some of the heart conditions and cardiovascular diseases, which are commonly engraved on a medical alert bracelet:
The most common type of heart condition is coronary heart disease, which affects the blood flow to the heart. People with this condition are more susceptible to a heart attack, so wearing a medical bracelet can inform emergency workers or the people around you of your condition.
Knowing the specific type of heart condition is important as it helps medical professionals perform treatment more quickly and effectively.
How a medical bracelet can support you in an emergency?
A medical bracelet 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 heart condition you have or what medication you take, and the right treatment can be administered quickly. It is also a good place to list an emergency contact number, so first responders can get in touch with your family or loved ones.
Do I need a medical bracelet if I have a heart condition?
Negative reaction with anticoagulants.
Some forms of antibiotics react negatively with blood-thinning medications, such as anticoagulants, and can actually increase your risk of bleeding out in an emergency. If this happens, it’s important to know how to stop it; usually, applying pressure on the wound helps to stop the bleeding. Read more on how to stop bleeding when on blood thinners, such as Warfarin.
Wearing a medical bracelet can inform emergency workers that you are on anticoagulants or other blood-thinning medication, so they can provide you with an alternate form of antibiotics that will ensure it won’t have a negative impact. Listing specific blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, apixaban or rivaroxaban, can also alert the emergency services to potential internal bleeding.
Implants may be required.
Coronary Heart Disease may require a procedure to have a coronary stent placed into your artery to help blood circulation to the heart. Coronary stents are often paired with blood thinning medication, which needs to be known to first responders immediately as previously mentioned, because they can cause a negative reaction with some forms of antibiotics.
Furthermore, if you have a pacemaker or ICD implanted, it’s important to let first responders know – particularly if it’s an older model where there could be interference with an MRI (that might be done in an emergency). Learn more on how a pacemaker works and its risks, as well as how some types of pacemaker cause problems with an MRI.
Let others know you have high blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, it may be due to your ongoing heart condition such as heart disease. However, in an emergency situation, medical workers may not know this. It is important to know that a person habitually has high blood pressure, or it is because of a long-term medical condition, and that it may not necessarily be associated with the current situation.
Wearing a medical bracelet with this information engraved onto it allows medical workers to know why your blood pressure is high and speed up effective treatment instead of wasting time figuring out why your blood pressure has spiked.
What should I engrave on my heart conditions bracelet?
Your bracelet might state a diagnosis, so your symptoms are instantly recognised or it could give a directive such as “Call (Name) on +44123 456789”, so your family can be notified of what has happened and advise doctors on your behalf.
As a guideline, your bracelet should say “On Anticoagulants” if you take any blood thinning medication. Many people engrave the specific medication, such as “On Apixaban”, “On Rivaroxaban” or “On Warfarin”, if their medication type is stable and unlikely to change. Your medical bracelet should also state the type of heart condition you have, so it explains your symptoms when you cannot. You may also wish to include your name, any other conditions you may have, details of any allergies and where to find your medication.
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 heart condition. Both the Caduceus and Star of Life symbols are internationally recognised, and they are a fast signal for where to find your medical information. Helping others to understand your condition means you can receive the right treatment, quickly.
Where to go for more support?
If you have a heart condition it is important to connect with others who have the same condition as they are likely to share similar experiences. Here are some links which give you more information, or a place to connect with others:
Have a read about how to prevent a heart attack.
Learn more on heart disease.
Think you might have Arrhythmia? Have a read of this article for more information.
If your child was born with a heart defect, heart.org explains the risks in more detail.
If you’ve just gotten a pacemaker fitted, here are some tips on how to take care of yourself afterwards.
Potsuk.org is a charity for anyone living with POTS. They can help manage your condition better, and give opportunities to connect with others.
Heartfoundation.org has some tips on how to adjust to daily life with atrial fibrillation.
If you have a heart condition, 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 questions about what engraving would support you best, or finding a medical bracelet design that works with your lifestyle, just drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
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