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Abbreviations For Medical Alert Bracelets

Last Updated: Sept. 18, 2020

What Is A Medical 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.

What Are The Most Common Medical Abbreviations?

There are many very common medical abbreviations we see at Lauren’s Hope on a daily basis. We have been working with our partners in the medical community for years, and we 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. Try our medical abbreviation search tool below or scroll down for a full list.

What Are Acceptable Medical Abbreviations?

Medical abbreviations are not all equally acceptable for use on a med ID. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Some abbreviations can mean more than one thing.
    • EG: Tx can mean treatment, but it also means transplant. MS can mean Multiple Sclerosis, but it can also mean Metabolic Syndrome.
  2. Some abbreviations are not common enough for a first responder to recognize them at a glance.
    • EG: TKR means total knee replacement. While this term is used in orthopedic practices and medical records, it is not something that all first responders will know, so spelling it out makes more sense.
Woman showing custom engraved medical ID tag with medical abbreviations
  • 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
Medical ID abbreviations on medical alert jewelry

When deciding what to put on your ID, think through how common your condition is. For instance, according to Global Genes, 1 in 10 Americans has a rare disease, but there are over 7,000 such diseases. If you have a rare disease, it is particularly important that you spell out the condition and any vital treatment considerations. You may find it helpful to speak with your physician and/or nurse educator for advice.

And remember: More isn’t always better. Just because there are common abbreviations for all of your information does not mean you need to use them all. When space allows, spelling things out while strategically using abbreviations will help create context and make your ID easier to understand.

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

What Should I Put On My Medical ID?

Once you have replaced some diagnostic terms and medication names with approved 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? Learn more about what info you should consider including with our helpful resource for engraving tips for your medical ID, or 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.