Millions of people wear medical ID necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and charms every day, and they all have a reason for doing so. Here at Lauren’s Hope, because we make fully customizable, interchangeable medical ID bracelets, we see all sorts of different engraving requests. Here’s our list of the top ten reasons people wear medical ID jewelry.
1. They have diabetes: Whether you have Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, wearing a medical ID bracelet is imperative. First responders tell us that knowing whether someone is diabetic is one of the most important pieces of information they can be given on an accident scene because they can administer a blood sugar test and provide insulin or sugar as needed to help the person immediately. Without that information, it would take much longer to assist someone.
2. They have drug allergies: People with drug allergies often wear medical ID jewelry even if they have no other conditions. Why? Because you never know when you’re going to be in a situation in which you’re unable to advocate for yourself. Lauren’s Hope Blogger, Tara Cohen, learned that lesson first-hand when she unexpectedly became seriously ill. “I ended up in the emergency room, disoriented and exhausted due to severe dehydration during a bad bout of the flu,” says Tara. “Instead of trying to remember my list of drug allergies, I handed over my Lauren’s Hope dog tags, which I keep on my keychain in case I’m not wearing a medical ID bracelet. The hospital staff all wanted to know where I’d gotten them.”
3. They have food allergies: No matter how careful you are, there’s always a risk of cross-contamination or random exposure when you have food allergies. While it’s important to tell the people you’re around the most about your food allergies and teach them how to respond in an emergency, sometimes reactions happen when you’re alone or with strangers. Wearing a medical ID bracelet that reads, “SHELLFISH ALLERGY / GIVE EPIPEN / CALL 911” means that people will look on your person or in your bag for an EpiPen and know that your reaction is likely to be severe enough that they should immediately call for emergency medical assistance.
4. They have epilepsy: When adults or children have seizure disorders or epilepsy, wearing medical ID jewelry is imperative. For Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), knowing up front that a person has a history of seizures or epilepsy helps tremendously because they know the seizure isn’t a new symptom or event, but rather an ongoing condition. If a person were not identified as having a seizure disorder, the EMTs would be looking for causes of the seizure such as head trauma, injury, or illness.
5. They’re caregivers: When people are solely responsible for the well being of others, such as when a parent cares for a disabled child or a grown child cares for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s, they often wear medical ID jewelry as ICE IDs. An ICE (In Case of Emergency) ID bears the most important information about the caregiver, those she’s assisting, and how to reach a secondary care provider. This helps EMTs and ER personnel provide the appropriate assistance to all parties while also enabling them to contact another caregiver to help.
6. They have kids: Kids don’t carry Driver’s Licenses. Plain and simple. So lots of parents today have their kids wear ICE IDs with their name and emergency contact phone numbers in the event that their child is involved in an accident and needs to be identified and reunited with his or her parents. Additionally, if a child is lost, s/he may panic and forget his or her phone number(s). An ICE ID ensures that your child always has your number on hand.
7. They’ve undergone gastric bypass surgery: Gastric bypass surgery patients should always wear medical ID jewelry. EMTs need to know if someone has had a gastric bypass because gastric bypass patients cannot have blind NG tubes inserted.
8. They have Alzheimer’s: When people have Alzheimer’s disease, their neurological function can vary from day to day, and they become increasingly forgetful and disoriented. It’s very easy for someone with Alzheimer’s to become confused, wander, and get lost. Caregivers often order medical ID jewelry for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s in order to safeguard them if they wander and to let EMTs and ER personnel know that an altered mental state is the patient’s baseline.
9. They’re athletes: Athletes, especially cyclists and runners who exercise outdoors, alone, and over long distances, often order medical ID bracelets and necklaces so that they can have a form of ID on them at all times without having to actually carry anything while biking or running.
10. They have a disability: People with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, developmental disabilities, cognitive disabilities, and physical disabilities often wear medical ID jewelry. If people are unable to speak or advocate for themselves, they should always wear a medical ID necklace or bracelet with their medical and emergency contact information engraved on it. Even people who do not have impaired cognitive function but do have physical challenges should wear medical ID jewelry so that EMTs are aware of their baseline in the event of an accident.