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What is a Medical Bracelet?

Article Details
  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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During a medical crisis such as a seizure or allergic reaction, the victim may not be able to speak for himself or herself. Emergency responders would not know if the victim had diabetes, a heart condition or an allergy to certain medications, for example. For this reason, many people with chronic health conditions wear special jewelry engraved with their personal identification and a brief description of their medical condition. Quite often, this information is contained on a medical bracelet worn around the wrist.

A medical bracelet can be designed to look like any other fashion accessory, complete with designer elements, semi-precious stones and high-end metal banding. Casual observers would not be able to discern a medical bracelet from other jewelry very easily. A basic medical bracelet, however, is readily identifiable as a large metallic badge with the symbol of a caduceus, a snake winding around a staff, against a six-point cross background. The back of a standard medical bracelet generally contains the patient's name, contact information, and description of his or her medical condition.

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Many people with serious medical conditions or allergies obtain a medical bracelet through established providers such as MedicAlert. These companies provide a range of services, from a basic medical bracelet engraved with essential information to sophisticated home monitoring services. Medical personnel can request a patient's electronic medical file by calling the medical bracelet provider directly. This service can be especially helpful if the patient has multiple health issues which cannot be fully explained on the back of a medical bracelet.

A medical bracelet wearer can also select other forms of jewelry which contain essentially the same information. Some companies offer medical necklaces or dog tags for clients who prefer to wear their medical IDs around their necks. The same medical information can also be engraved on the back of a specially designed wristwatch containing the caduceus symbol on its face. Medical professionals are trained to look for that symbol on any piece of jewelry worn by a victim.

Many physicians urge their patients to obtain and wear a medical bracelet in order to protect themselves from possible harm during an emergency situation. A person suffering from an epileptic seizure, for example, may require a different type of medical attention than a diabetic or heart patient. Learning the victim's medical history as quickly as possible can help rescuers avoid dangerous drug interactions and make more accurate diagnoses in the field.

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