Medical ID FAQ
Here you can find many answers to some common questions about Medical IDs
Engraving your name on your medical ID is personal preference. However, at least a first name is recommended. A first name is especially important in an emergency, as emergency personnel will say a person’s name in an effort to get their attention if they are in a daze, a diabetic coma or unconscious for example.
We recommend that all Alzheimer’s patients engrave their name and address or contact information of a friend or family member.
- List only those medical conditions that would be important in an emergency. For example, a minor surgery that took place several years ago may no longer be relevant to your current medical care.
- Space is limited, so summarize your information with short, descriptive words. Any information that cannot go on your medical ID bracelet or necklace can be written on a wallet or purse ID card.
- List only medicines you wish to be engraved. Generally, this would be prescription medicine, taken on a long-term daily basis. You may wish to list the most important medicines first.
If you need help deciding what to engrave, ask your physician or pharmacist, or you may call our Customer Service, 1.866.791.1384.
Anything can be engraved on an ID, within space limits. Some examples of what might be wise to engrave:
- Advance Directives (DNR, etc.)
- Blood Type
- Contact Lenses
- Difficult Intubation
- Emergency Contacts (Next of Kin, Physician, etc.)
- Living Will
- Organ Donor
- See Wallet Card
Yes. Allergic reactions to drugs, foods and insects can cause serious medical problems. A medical ID informs medical personnel of an allergy, allowing for rapid response to end the reaction.
Allergens are numerous, some common examples:
- Anticonvulsants: Tegretol, Dilantin
- Aspirin: Anacin, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxyn
- Barbiturates: Phenobarbital
- Antibiotics: Penicillin, Sulfa, Cephalosporins, Mycins
- Narcotics: Codeine, Morphine, Demerol
- Others: Dairy Products, Horse Serum, Insect Stings, Latex, Lidocaine, Novocaine, Nuts, X-Ray Dye
As a rule and if space permits, it’s wise to list prescription medicines that are being taken on a long-term or “maintenance” basis. This will give medical personnel better guidance on how to initiate treatment and will lessen the chance of a drug interaction.
Some classes of medicines that would be appropriate for an ID are:
- Analgesics: Includes many narcotics, such as morphine and codeine
- Antianginals: Medicines that alleviate episodes of angina
- Antiarrhythmics: Heart drugs that can correct or prevent irregular heart beats
- Anticoagulants: Blood thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin)
- Anticonvulsants: Meds for seizure disorder and epilepsy
- Antihistamines, Decongestants: Prescription or over-the-counter meds for allergic rhinitis
- Antihypertensives: Blood pressure medicine
- Beta Blockers: Drugs that can slow the heart rate: Inderal, Tenormin, etc.
- Chemotherapy Agents: Drugs for treating cancer or serious infectious diseases
- Steroids: Cortisone, Decadron, etc.
Below are examples of medical conditions that could warrant wearing a medical ID.
- Abnormal EKG
- Adrenal Insufficiency
- Bleeding Disorder
- Cardiac Arrhythmia
- Clotting Disorder
- Diabetes (Insulin Dependent)
- Diabetes (Non-Insulin Dependent)
- Hearing Impaired
- Heart Valve Prosthesis
- Hemolytic Anemia
- Malignant Hyperthermia
- Mental Retardation
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Renal Failure
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Seizure Disorder
- Situs Inversus
- Vision Impaired
In an emergency, when you might be unable to speak for yourself, a medical ID bracelet or necklace speaks for you.
- Symptoms of common ailments can easily be misdiagnosed.
- Prompt diagnosis is critical to effective treatment.
- A brief description of vital medical facts engraved on your medical ID ensures appropriate and timely medical care.
- According to a published study, half of all medical errors occur because of mistakes made upon admission or discharge from the hospital.
- Wearing a medical ID protects against potentially harmful medical errors.
- More than 95 percent of emergency responders look for a medical ID; more than 75 percent check for a medical ID immediately upon assessing the patient. If you’re wearing a medical ID, it won’t be missed.
Medical IDs are not just for emergencies, they eliminate trips to the hospital, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and prevent minor emergencies from becoming major ones. Medical IDs save lives!
Physicians and healthcare organizations throughout the world recommend medical IDs:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Institutes of Health
- American/Canadian Diabetes Association
- Columbia University Medical Center
- The National Association of EMS Educators
- Epilepsy Foundation
- The Merck Manual
- Alzheimer’s Association
- World Health Organization
- Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation
You should always wear your medical ID. Taking off your medical ID takes away its opportunity to help you in an emergency.
Based on recently surveyed emergency medical professionals ranging from first responders to paramedics. Among the results:
- More than 95 percent of respondents look for a medical ID during emergencies.
- More than 75 percent look for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient.
- 95 percent look at the patient’s wrist to find a medical ID, and 68 percent look for an ID on the patient’s neck.
People with certain medical conditions wear medical IDs to alert emergency medical professionals in an emergency. The following are good reasons to wear a medical ID:
- Food, Drug or Insect allergies
- Cardiac problems (angina,arrhythmias,atrial fibrillation,pacemakers)
- Pulmonary Conditions(Asthma/COPD)
- Kidney Failure
- Diabetes, blood disorders
- Alzheimer’s/Memory Impairment
- Blood thinners/ Anticoagulants (Coumadin/Warfarin)
- Emphysema/Breathing disorders
- Rare diseases
- Epilepsy/Seizure disorder
- Hearing, sight or mentally impaired
- Surgery, transplant and cancer patients
- Clinical trial participants
- Special needs children
- Stroke risk
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- People taking multiple medicines
- Tourette Syndrome
A medical ID is jewelry that could save your life. Medical conditions, drug and food allergies, prescribed medicines and emergency contacts can be engraved onto the surface of a medical ID bracelet or necklace.