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Do I need to wear a medical ID bracelet?

17th Apr 2023

We’re often asked if you HAVE to wear a medical ID bracelet. The short answer is no – nobody HAS to wear a medical ID, but perhaps a better question is SHOULD I wear a medical ID?

If you have a medical condition that could lead to an emergency or any condition that first responders and medical professionals need to be aware of, the answer is YES. None of us likes to think about the unthinkable, but a medical ID bracelet could be life-saving in an emergency situation and especially when the wearer is unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate. A medical ID bracelet also gives parents and carers peace of mind that, in an emergency, vital information will be available to first responders to enable them to provide effective care as rapidly as possible.

Wearing a medical ID bracelet maximises the chances of first responders and medical professionals being made aware of your condition(s) and enables them to tailor their treatment accordingly. The information on your medical ID bracelet facilitates rapid, appropriate treatment and can help prevent misdiagnosis, adverse drug interactions or treatments that can pose a risk to the wearer.

You have complete control over your medical ID bracelet and can choose when to wear it. Some people with serious conditions like to wear their medical ID bracelets 24/7. Others choose to wear them only when they’re out and about. Many parents of children with severe allergies use a medical ID bracelet when their child is at school or out with friends. However, the best advice is to wear it all the time so that it is part of your daily life as we never know when an emergency will occur.

The following list is by no means exhaustive, but here are some examples of medical conditions and other circumstances where wearing a medical ID bracelet is advisable:

  • Medical conditions: if you suffer from diabetes, epilepsy, asthma or other pulmonary conditions, a serious heart condition, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), thyroid disease, high stroke risk, kidney disease, blood conditions or disorders such as factor V Leiden, an adrenal insufficiency disorder, sickle cell disease or any disease, disorder or syndrome that affects the body’s essential processes you should wear a medical ID bracelet;
  • Prescribed medications: If you’re taking any medication that affects your blood flow or other vital processes, for example warfarin. other blood thinners or immunosuppressant medications, you should wear a medical ID bracelet to avoid any adverse drug interactions.
  • Medical devices: if you have a pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), ventricular assist device or any internal medical device you should wear a medical ID bracelet to ensure that emergency treatment does not interfere with the device.
  • Allergies: if you have a serious or life-threatening allergy to specific medications such as penicillin, foods, insects or specific materials such as latex, you should wear a medical ID bracelet which should also reference any life-saving medication that you carry.
  • Developmental disabilities and brain diseases: if you suffer from Autism, Asperger’s syndrome or another developmental disability or from a brain disease which significantly impacts your behaviour or your ability to communicate, you should wear a medical ID bracelet so that first responders and others can understand why you might find communication a challenge and help to provide context for your behaviour.
  • Memory impairment: family and carers for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other conditions causing memory impairment can use a medical ID bracelet to so that first responders quickly understand why the wearer might seem disorientated or confused and to ensure that they are treated and cared for taking into account their condition.
  • Organ transplants or removed organs: if you have received an organ transplant or had a splenectomy you should wear a medical ID bracelet.
  • Fistula: you can protect your fistula in an emergency by wearing a medical ID bracelet.

There are medical ID bracelets to suit all of these circumstances. For more common conditions and circumstances, you could choose a simple generic silicone medical ID bracelet – for example, one that has “Taking Warfarin” debossed on it or “Medical Alert! Peanut Allergy”. For more complex conditions and particularly for multiple conditions, a personalised medical ID bracelet is the best choice as it allows you to full control of what is engraved on your medical ID.

Head on over to our Medical Conditions pages for detailed information and advice on what to have engraved on your medical ID.

You might also want to think about having different medical ID bracelets for different activities. A lot of our customers choose a soft silicone medical ID wristband for when they’re doing sports alongside a more traditional link medical ID bracelet for everyday wear.