Medical ID Bracelets and Medical Professionals

Medical ID bracelets are quite common. Millions of people wear them for many different reasons. However, those who often could benefit from them do not wear them – primarily for two reasons: 1) a feeling that a medical ID bracelet labels them as old or disabled in others’ eyes; 2) the desire to avoid wearing the typical, unattractive medical ID bracelet. But medical ID bracelets do not need to be unsightly reminders of a physical or unseen medical hindrance.

Return to Sender medical ID bracelets are lovely pieces of jewelry that provide critical information to EMTs, first responders, and other medical professionals about your unique health needs. The ID bracelet speaks for you when you are unable of doing so for yourself.

It is easy to say, “A medical ID bracelet can save your life,” but actual examples that demonstrate the importance of these bracelets bring a level of understanding that is essential – since most of us won’t be compelled to do something if we don’t understand the reasons why we should.

The following examples are written from the perspective of a medical professional who finds or treats someone without knowing their medical history:

1.   Diabetes

Diabetes is the most common medical condition that imposes the need for a medical ID bracelet. If someone with diabetes is unconscious and requires medical attention, it is vital that medical professionals know of the patient’s medical condition. The immediate administering of a blood sugar test can truly mean the difference between life and death. A dangerously high blood sugar level indicates the need for an insulin injection; conversely, a dangerously low blood sugar level suggests the need for more sugar. Severe complications can be avoided if the first responder can determine the blood sugar level of the patient. The risk of mistreatment is too high in either situation, and this risk can be diminished when the person chooses to wear a medical ID bracelet. 

2.   Children

This is something most people don’t consider, but many young children struggle to remember basic information that is important if they get lost. Choosing to have their children wear an ID bracelet that contains their name, emergency contact name(s) and information, and any medical conditions that could cause serious issues is not a knee-jerk reaction by over-protective parents; it is simply a way to ensure that others can help lost children be reunited with their parents and remain safe in the meantime.

3.   Other medical conditions

  • Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that may cause seizures. But seizures are not always indicative of epilepsy. If a seizure occurs without medical professionals knowing you have epilepsy, they may assume that the occurrence of a seizure is for any number of incorrect reasons. This will delay proper treatment and increase the risk of serious complications.
  • Weight loss surgery requires that the patient avoid insertion of blind NG tubes, which often are used for certain procedures.
  • Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia create a condition in which the patient is unable to remember basic information that is important if the person gets lost. Medical professionals value medical ID bracelets for people with Alzheimer’s, as they know immediately that a patient’s confusion and disorientation are part of the person’s normal condition, not symptoms of some other issue.
  • Any other condition or disability that impairs one’s ability to communicate is a valid reason to wear a medical ID bracelet.

4.   Allergies

People with severe food or drug allergies should wear medical ID bracelets specifically for those situations that render them unable to communicate fully. This is especially critical for those who carry traditional medicine for milder reactions or an EpiPen for serious reactions. If medical professionals do not know about a patient’s allergies, they are far more likely to administer something that will initiate an allergic reaction.

5.   Caregivers

If you care for others, especially those who are unable to fully care for themselves, you should consider wearing an ID bracelet with their names and any relevant information. This is true of parents with small children, people caring for aging parents, professional caregivers who are self-employed, and anyone else who has primary responsibility for the care of others. It is a necessity if those for whom you care live alone and have medical conditions that require regular treatment.

6.   Athletes

This final category is not considered often enough, but many high-level athletes (especially cyclists, swimmers, and others whose sportswear does not include pockets) do not carry wallets or purses during their workouts. When those workouts are outdoors and occur over multiple miles, wearing a medical ID bracelet can provide significant peace of mind and assurance.

When we understand – and embrace – the necessity of a medical ID bracelet, the only remaining concern becomes what the bracelet looks like, and perhaps more importantly, how we look wearing the bracelet. Return to Sender ID bracelets are attractive jewelry pieces. Instead of wearing a   plain metal band, you can sport a bracelet that is complementary to you and your wardrobe, providing vital information to first responders and providing you with that peace of mind.  You shouldn’t have to choose between your life and your appearance. Your goal – feeling safe during those most vulnerable of moments, while still feeling good about yourself – is our goal, as well.