Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Subscribe to our Controlling Your Diabetes e-newsletter to stay up to date on diabetes topics.
If you have diabetes and use insulin, consider wearing a medical I.D. bracelet (medical identification bracelet). No one plans to have a medical emergency, but it's a good idea to be prepared for one.
Medical I.D. bracelets are an excellent way to expedite treatment and avoid misdiagnosis during an emergency. Paramedics are trained to look for medical I.D. bracelets.
Both high and low blood sugar can lead to unconsciousness, coma, seizures and death. If emergency care personnel need to look through your wallet or purse for a medical I.D., treatment may be delayed. And if a person is behaving oddly or has lost consciousness, bystanders are more likely to call for help if they recognize that the problem is medical, rather than related to drugs or alcohol.
Medical I.D. bracelets don't have to be ugly. Many attractive medical I.D. bracelet options exist. Check at your local pharmacy, or do an online search for medical I.D. bracelets. You might be surprised by your options!
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
Great article. I just found a great site that has a new kind of Medical ID Bracelet which is scanable.
Unlike other Medical ID Bracelets, which require paramedics to call to get your medical information, Med-ID delivers the results On The Spot, in seconds when it’s needed the most. For more information see http://www.medidbands.com
Medical id bracelets are so important! fiddledeeids.com
I just found a great new medical id bracelet that uses QR code technology which is better than traditional Medical ID bracelets.
Unlike traditional Medical ID bracelets which carry limited information, Med-ID bracelets displays following with a simple scan with any smartphone:
Your Medical condition(s).
List of Any Allergies.
Current List of all medications you are taking.
Primary Physician's Name and Phone Number.
Two emergency contact names and their phone numbers.
Your Name and Age.
This is a new technology which will help save lives in critical times. If you want more information visit http://www.Medidbands.com
I just thought that I'd mention that I use an "SOS Talisman" brand medical bracelet. It's different from the others in that there's nothing engraved on it and there's no number to phone. Simply put, Your medical information is written in permanent ink on a special waterproof form which sits inside a "capsule" in the center of the bracelet and so is carried about with all the time. The simplest ideas are often the best! Thanks for a great post by the way. (I got it at www.medical-bracelets.co.uk )
Medical Id Jewelry is very useful for those persons who are suffering with diabetes. we have a wide collection of medical id jewelry like alert id jewelry, medical id bracelets and many more.
Great Article and I cant agree with you more. Medical ID bracelets are essential for people suffering from chronic illness. I have found a NEW interactive Medical ID bracelet with latest technology. It is using QR(Quick Response) code to display all your medical information in matter of seconds.
When scanned by any smart phone, this dedicated QR code will display your emergency contact information, list of medical conditions, allergies, current medications you might be on, and primary physician's name and phone number all in one simple click.
Best thing is this new technology is very affordable and bracelets are pretty cool. Here is a link to the site if you are interested in learning more www.medidbands.com
I think Medical ID bracelets save lives and can get the help that person needs so much faster. There are so many designs available now that are colorful and fun.
I do not like medical id bracelets, necklaces, etc., but what I do want is a small tatoo which has the medical id and "diabetes" next to it on my chest. My problem with getting it, is that I am afraid that medical personnel would not look there in an emergency. Is there anyway to educate the medical community to look for medical id tatoos on the chest above the heart?
Gloria: "However, there is one major problem in this modern world: medical insurance usually prohibits staff from searching any personal belongings such as a billfold." Thank you. This is so true. I frequently hear our clients tell me that they carry an ID in their purse/billfold and have to tell them that they must give permission for anyone to look through their billfold. A medical ID immediately alerts the medical providers and speeds treatment.
Cindy: We can understand your concern, however, your son does have a point in that wearing a pump should clue in medical personnel that he has diabetes. However, not everyone is familiar with insulin pumps and it would be ideal for him to wear a medical ID. As a mother of two adult sons with type 1 diabetes, I express my concern and leave the decisions up to them. Peggy
Gary: Thank you for sharing your experience wearing a medical ID in the Philippines. You made some excellent points. First, I should have qualified that paramedics in the USA are trained to look for a medical ID. You also had a good point about medical IDs looking like jewelry that can possibly be overlooked by medical personnel. We appreciate your input!
My adult son is Type 1 and wears a pump, He feels that is sufficient info for any emt. I would like for him to wear a bracelet also but he refuses. Am I being overly concerned?
I always carry a one page summary of medical data. It contains pacemaker information, cardiologist's telephone, with list of all oral prescriptions, topical prescriptions, OTC products and other information on allergies, chronic diseases, shots, etc. Paramedics, emergency room personnel, doctors and nurses are delighted to have the information. However, there is one major problem in this modern world: medical insurance usually prohibits staff from searching any personal belongings such as a billfold. (That's protection against the "ambulance chaser" lawsuit mindset.) I must be able to request my billfold and personally give the information to the doctor.
That is the reason I am a member of Medic Alert. I always wear the bracelet which includes key medical information and a toll free number. When my ID number is given to the emergency staff at Medic Alert, they have all the key information and ways to contact my doctors when necessary.
It is money well spent to be a member. Bracelets come in a wide range of prices that should fit most budgets.
This is great information for people with diabetes. I wear a diabetes ID bracelet that I purchased from Laurens Hope. Their site www.laurenshope.com has hundreds of bracelets and necklaces which you can custom engrave. I have my name, diabetes, on insulin and my husbands phone number engraved on my medical ID bracelet.
Thanks for your comments on the wisdom of wearing medical identification bracelets!
I have a few added thoughts after being hospitalized in a modern facility in the Philippines where there may be different standards or training in practice. What do you think?
**It was stated that “Paramedics are trained to look for medical I.D. bracelets.” Although this is true in the U.S., apparently, at least in the Philippines, they sometimes will not look for clearly labeled medical ID. I was in a modern hospital after experiencing significant hypoglycemia and after I awakened, the medical staff claimed that they did not know I had diabetes and that I should wear medical ID. I showed them the medical ID that was around my neck, upon which the doctor looked at me and said that everyone thought it was some kind of jewelry. I suggested that in the future they might want to note the medical symbol (staff and snake) on the “jewelry” and the engraving that clearly stated: “TYPE 1 DIABETES.” The doctor then stated that I should have worn a bracelet ID, not an item around the neck, because that is too often mistaken as jewelry. (So apparently this was not the first time a medical ID was ignored)
**It was also indicated in the article that “Medical I.D. bracelets don't have to be ugly.” This is also true. However, if at least some medical staffs are ignoring a medical ID because it apparently does not look like medical ID, an exceptionally attractive bracelet/necklace may be even less noted.
I used to wear an alert bracelet. The two times I passed out from a low blood sugar, no one even bothered to check for the bracelet. Luckily, the first time someone was there who knew I was diabetic, and the second time a cop recognized the symptoms. But in neither case did the paramedics look at my bracelet, which would have given them more information about my other conditions.
I have a number of issues that need to be listed on my Medical Alert bracelet. The problem I have is finding a bracelet that will acommodate the necessary information.
I have 3 stents and can't have blood tiner. I could not find a bracelet for my situation. I went on line and discovered rubber like plastic bracelets for groups in many colors and you can have the short exact text you want that fits the bracelet. I made mine yellow nut maybe I should have made it red. It never leaves my wrist, even in the shower for about 5 years. I hope they are still in business.
I hope this can help someone else.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from website advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse non-Mayo products and services.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "EmbodyHealth," "Enhance your life," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.