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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
|Aortic Valve Replacement||AVR|
|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|
|Deep Vein Thrombosis||DVT|
|Diagnosis or Disease||DX/DIAG|
|Do Not Resuscitate||DNR|
|Epinephrine Pen (auto-injector)||EPIPEN|
|In Case of Emergency||ICE|
|Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus||IDDM|
|Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura||ITP|
|Mitral Valve Prolapsed||MVP|
|No Known Allergies||NKA|
|No Known Drug Allergies||NKDA|
|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:
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.