Wednesday, 14 May 2014

May is Medic Alert Month

What is Medic Alert?

A medical ID provides information that could save your life in an emergency. With medical conditions, drug and food allergies, prescribed medicines and emergency contacts engraved onto its surface, a medical ID bracelet or necklace guides paramedics and doctors in giving you appropriate, timely treatment when you cannot speak for yourself.

Who should wear a medical ID?

If you have ongoing medical conditions, drug or food allergies, or are taking multiple medicines, you should wear a medical ID alert – There are medical bracelets for women and medical bracelets for men alike. An engraved medical ID bracelet or necklace presenting a concise overview of your conditions, allergies and medicines will alert a doctor or medic before starting treatment. Informing medical personnel about your unique medical conditions and needs will greatly aid pre-hospital care.

Who should wear medical alert ID?

Here is a partial list of ailments or persons who should wear a medical ID:

Heart disease (angina, atrial fibrillation, pacemakers)
Blood thinners/anticoagulants (Coumadin/Warfarin)
Drug allergies (such as Penicillin)
Food allergies (such as peanut)
Insect allergies (such as bee stings)
Alzheimer`s/Dementia/Memory impairment
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Bariatric surgery patients
Blood disorders
Breathing disorders
Cerebral Palsy
Clinical trial patients
Cystic Fibrosis
Epilepsy, seizures
Hearing, sight or mentally impaired
Kidney failure
Mental health patients
Multiple Sclerosis
Parkinson`s Disease
People taking multiple medications
Rare diseases
Special needs children
Stroke risk
Surgery, transplant or cancer patients
Tourette Syndrome

Why are medical IDs important?

Perhaps your doctor, nurse or pharmacist advised you to obtain and always wear a medical ID, but why?

  • In an emergency, when you might not be able 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 can eliminate trips to the hospital, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and prevent minor emergencies from becoming major ones. Medical IDs save lives! One day, a medical ID may save you.

Nandini Desai is a Registered Pharmacist and Certified Diabetes Educator at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.