August is MedicAlert Awareness Month. Throughout the month, different institutions in the Healthcare sector hold campaigns and events with the aim to increase the public’s knowledge about the importance of wearing and understanding medical alert IDs.
MedicAlert Medical IDs aren’t anything new. However, despite the fact that the company has been around since 1956, there’s still a lack of awareness as to what they are. Commonly, it’s only people who have chronic health concerns and their families who know about it. Hence, other than them, the general population has little to no idea what MedicAlert IDs are.
A well-known non-profit foundation, MedicAlert, aims to protect the health of its members. They maintain a database with their health condition, including details of any issues, concerns, and allergies. Based on this data, they make IDs in the form of necklaces and bands. In the event of an emergency, strangers around the individual will know how to respond by having a look at his/her ID.
Why Wear a MedicAlert ID?
Medical alert IDs can reduce treatment errors and speak for someone if they are unresponsive in an emergency situation. Even though people with heart conditions or health concerns, like diabetes, allergies, or asthma, are likely to be careful to not aggravate their condition and carry the necessary medication with them, one can never be too careful. Hence, it is crucial that the person receive proper care and treatment, even before an ambulance makes its way to the scene. MedicAlert IDs help inform first responders of the individual’s health condition, which allows them to provide the proper care and information before and after medics arrive.
MedicAlert IDs are also extremely vital when dealing with the prevalence of certain health concerns in children and the elderly. Young children are unaware as to what they should eat and refrain from eating. In this case, a MedicAlert ID is helpful in letting teachers and caretakers know what children can and cannot eat. Moreover, caretakers and teachers will have an idea of the items that the individual should not be exposed to. The same applies to the use of senior medical alert bracelets for elders, especially those who have trouble remembering their condition.
Who Should Wear a Medical ID?
There are a number of health conditions, which require a person to wear a MedicAlert ID. The list includes:
- Food Allergies
- Blood thinners (Coumadin Warfarin)
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
- Blood disorders
- Children with special needs
- Drug allergies
- Stroke risks
- Epilepsy, seizures
- Multiple Sclerosis
How Can We Do Better for Those Who Wear Medical Alert IDs?
One thing we can all do is to just to be more aware of those who wear MedicAlert IDs, and to know that any health and contact information should be engraved into their bracelet should an emergency occur. If you happen to be a designated caregiver for a certain amount of time, don’t hesitate to ask someone questions about any existing health conditions you should be aware of. Understanding how to better deal with patients of various conditions in emergency situations is always a great skill as well, and would require some research and training if you are especially serious about becoming a first responder.
We can all continue to spread information about MedicAlert IDs among friends and family using social media, continue to stay informed on medical alerts and health conditions, show our appreciation and support to caregivers and first responders, and to also donate to the MedicAlert foundation.