dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Protect Your Life with a Medical Alert I.D.

When I buy plants and repot them into my garden, I always save the nursery tags they come with, particularly if I’ve never grown a similar one before. The tag gives the proper name of the plant and all the basic information on how to care for it properly. If in the future the plant starts to look poorly, I can then check the tag  for clues on what might be causing the problem. It’s like a horticultural medical alert I.D.!

I wear a medical alert bracelet myself. Have you thought about whether you should? Let me tell you about my own reasons and then give you some information to consider...

When I began taking stronger pain medication, I toyed with the idea of getting a medical alert I.D. but never made the effort to follow through. None of my doctors suggested it so I just let it slide, though I knew I probably shouldn’t. I’m a medical television show junkie, not the dramas but the shows which show actual patients and procedures like on the Discovery Fit & Health Channel. From watching such personal accounts, I know that patients may be given strong drugs like morphine in order to keep them still for transport or if they have been badly burned or suffered an agonizing injury. I was concerned that if it happened to me, I could be accidentally overdosed. I also have a couple of drug allergies which could be a problem.

When my birthday rolled around, I received an unusual gift from my mother-in-law. Instead of the usual jewelry or clothing item, she sent me a gift certificate for the MedicAlert Foundation. This is what prompted me to finally make the decision to sign up. After discussing it with my doctor, I had the alert bracelet engraved with the information we felt was most important. When I received it, I put it on and it has been on my left wrist ever since.

Here is my medical alert I.D. - I'm holding my wrist in front
of a vase of Dahlias and Dianthus in my living room.

MedicAlert is one of a number of companies that provides 24/7 service for members, so that if you have an emergency the paramedics can call a number and get your medical information and contact numbers so you get the proper care, your doctor is consulted, and your family notified. I cannot personally speak to how good the other alert companies are, but I've heard positive reviews from friends who are members of:

However, you may not need a medical alert I.D. with 24 hour service. Maybe you just want one that says “Diabetic” or “Peanut Allergy” or “Pacemaker” with your name, number, and a personal contact. Medical alert I.D.’s can say as much as little as you and your doctor feel is necessary to keep you safe in an emergency. 


• In an emergency, when you might not be able to speak for yourself, a medical alert I.D. speaks for you. It will protect you from treatment that might cause you harm.

• Symptoms of common ailments can easily be misdiagnosed. A brief description of vital medical facts engraved on your medical alert I.D. 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 alert I.D. protects against potentially harmful medical errors.

• Medical alert I.D.'s can eliminate trips to the hospital, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and prevent minor emergencies from becoming major ones. 


~Those who have food, drug, or insect allergies, or sensitivity to items which could affect emergency medical treatment like being allergic to latex or contrast dye.

~Those with a chronic medical condition, for example: diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, heart disease, organ transplant, COPD, hemophilia, rare diseases, etc. Or a condition that might make it hard to communicate such as hearing impairment, autism, Alzheimers, Tourettes, etc.

~Those with an implant of any kind: cochlear implants, pacemaker, insulin pump, implanted stimulator, etc.

~Those taking medications such as opiates, blood-thinners, insulin, anti-rejection drugs, heart meds, psychiatric drugs, and many more. Ask your doctor if the drug(s) you take should be listed on a medical alert I.D.

~Those with any other issue that could affect emergency treatment. Talk with your doctor to determine if this includes you.


You are no longer limited to a plain bracelet. There are all kinds of I.D.'s and all kinds of designs available from simple to sophisticated. Each company offers their own lines including bracelets, necklaces, sport I.D. bands, dog tags, shoe tags, and more. You can even get a USB memory stick or flash drive to wear and put your entire medical record on it.

However, there are a few important things to consider when you are choosing a piece of jewelry which is meant to guard your life. Diabetes educator Hope Warshaw suggests that you ask yourself five questions:
1.  Do I like it enough to wear it all day, every day?

2.  Will it be physically comfortable to wear?

3.  Is it durable enough for my lifestyle and activities?

4.  Is it large enough to hold key information: my name, medical condition, and reliable phone numbers for one or more contacts?

5.  Is it easy to locate on my body?


Medical alert I.D.'s save lives every day. Here are a few personal stories to show how an I.D. made all the difference:

One day, you may be in a life-threatening situation where a medical alert I.D. could save your life. Will *you* be wearing one? 

1 comment:

  1. Now you can talk with doctor very easily .

    For info visit :www.dialurdoctor.com


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