Medical IDs that are glam and hi-tech

September 29, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

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Bracelets, necklaces and anklets are accessories to some, a necessity to others. I am referring to medical IDs that people with certain conditions have to wear all the time. When these IDs were introduced back in the 50s or 60s, they were bulky and ugly, making the wearer stand out and feel cumbersome. A lot of things have changes since then and nowadays medical bracelets come in all forms and sizes – and they can be glamorous. After all, if Lindsay Lohan can wear a designer-made alcohol anklet, why can’t a diabetic make a fashion statement?

Why wear a medical ID?

It is advisable that people with diabetes, emphysema, heart disease, allergies, asthma, autism, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, or hearing, sight or mental impairments wear some form of medical ID. In case of emergency, when the patient collapses and becomes unresponsive, these IDs can provide info to emergency medical personnel. Connie Meyer, president of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians:

“I think if you have a chronic medical problem that might make you unresponsive, then it’s a good idea to have something… it speeds things up. If we see a tag that says diabetic, then we’ll go straight to checking the blood sugar as our first assessment. But we still do other assessments.”

Glam medical IDs

Nowadays, medical IDs look more like jewelry. They can be in silver, gold, titanium, decorated with semi-precious stones, customized, and pre-engraved depending on the wearer’s taste and whim. Patients can even design their own jewelry medical ID online. These glam IDs make the wearer feel good but present some problems for medical personnel. In cases of emergency, it is not easy to tell which is jewelry and which is medical ID in unresponsive patients.

“We have to know to look for those kinds of things. They’ve tried to make them more attractive because that’s one of the reasons women, in particular, don’t wear them, because of the style.”

One of the leading makers of fashional medical IDs is American Medical ID.

What do medical IDs say?

Medical IDs are meant to give the most relevant info about medical conditions but the space on these IDs is limited. Thus, standardized abbreviations have been developed that are easily understandable to medical personnel. Some of these are:

“Invisible” medical IDs is a web-based registry that created the iBracelet, an “invisible” medical ID, which is basically a PIN. Your PIN can be texted to an iB central number or entered into an iB registry by an authorized medical personnel and he or she receives a relevant info of medical records, including medical conditions, medications, and next-of-kin. The PIN can be stored in your phone under “in case of emergency” (ICE), on your key holder, etc. Your PIN is basically the key to open your electronic medical records.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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