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What Are The Most Common Medical Abbreviations?

Last Updated: April 30, 2020

Every day here at Lauren’s Hope, we custom engrave medical ID jewelry. We engrave medical ID dog tags and medical alert bracelets and medical ID plaques and on and on. Some of them are rotary engraved for a discreet, tone-on-tone appearance. Most are premium laser engraved, as this process offers contrast for ease of reading. Some engravings are short, and some are long, and some are even funny or sweet or inspiring. But all of them have one thing in common: they have to be brief.

Woman showing custom engraved medical alert with allergy abbreviation Woman showing custom engraved medical alert with allergy abbreviation

When engraving medical alert jewelry, it’s truly important to maximize your use of the space and communicate as much vital information as possible in the limited space available. That’s where common abbreviations come into play. Instead of typing the word, “allergy,” for instance, you might use the medical abbreviation for allergy, which is ALGY. The abbreviation for allergy, however, is an unusually easy one.

Fortunately, there are a great many very common medical abbreviations we see here on a daily basis. Our master engravers have compiled a list of the most frequently used abbreviations in the hope that it helps as you try to maximize the effectiveness of your engraving.

  • Atrial Fibrillation - AFIB
  • Allergy/Allergic To - ALGY
  • Aortic Valve Replacement AVR
  • Aspirin - ASA
  • Blood Pressure - BP
  • Cancer - CA
  • Chronic Kidney Disease - CKD
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - COPD
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia - CAH
  • Congestive Heart Failure - CHF
  • Coronary Artery Disease - CAD
  • Coronary Heart Disease - CHD
  • Cystic Fibrosis - CF
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis - DVT
  • Defibrillate/Defibrillation - DEFIB
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis - DKA
  • Diabetes Mellitus - DM
  • Diagnosis or Disease - DX/DIAG
  • Discontinue - D/C
  • Do Not Resuscitate - DNR
  • Epinephrine - EPI
  • Epinephrine Pen (auto-injector) - EPIPEN
  • Erythromycin Ethylsuccinate - EES
  • History - HX
  • Hypertension - HTN
  • In Case of Emergency - ICE
  • Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus - IDDM
  • Intravenous - IV
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura - ITP
  • Medication(s)/Prescription(s) - MED/MEDS/RX/RXS
  • Mitral Valve Prolapsed - MVP
  • Nasogastric - NG
  • No Known Allergies - NKA
  • No Known Drug Allergies - NKDA
  • Penicillin - PCN
  • Tetracycline - TCN
  • Tracheal/Tracheotomy - TRACH
  • Transplant or Treatment - TX (requires context)
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - VWD

Or view the entire list below:

Atrial Fibrillation A-Fib
Allergy/Allergic To ALGY
Aortic Valve Replacement AVR
Aspirin ASA
Blood Pressure BP
Cancer CA
Chronic Kidney Disease CKD
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia CAH
Congestive Heart Failure CHF
Coronary Artery Disease CAD
Coronary Heart Disease CHD
Cystic Fibrosis CF
Deep Vein Thrombosis DVT
Defibrillate/Defibrillation DEFIB
Diabetic Ketoacidosis DKA
Diabetes Mellitus DM
Diagnosis or Disease DX/DIAG
Discontinue D/C
Do Not Resuscitate DNR
Epinephrine EPI
Epinephrine Pen (auto-injector) EPIPEN
Erythromycin Ethylsuccinate EES
History HX
Hypertension HTN
In Case of Emergency ICE
Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus IDDM
Intravenous IV
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura ITP
Medication(s)/Prescription(s) MED/MEDS/RX/RXS
Mitral Valve Prolapsed MVP
Nasogastric NG
No Known Allergies NKA
No Known Drug Allergies NKDA
Penicillin PCN
Tetracycline TCN
Tracheal/Tracheotomy TRACH
Transplant or Treatment TX (requires context)
Von Willebrand’s Disease VWD

Once you have replaced those long diagnostic terms and medication names with common abbreviations, you’ll have more room to work with, which is great, because every medical ID should have, at a minimum, these basic pieces of information:

Your name
Your diagnosis(es)
Any known allergies or the fact that you have none
Any key treatment considerations
At least one emergency contact number

Still not sure what to engrave on your medical alert jewelry? Give us a call at 1.800.360.8680! We will gladly help you find the best solution for your needs. We’re here in the office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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