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Why You Should Consider Wearing ID with Diabetes

Medical ID Speaks for You When You Are Not Able


Updated January 28, 2009

Anyone with type 1 diabetes should wear some type of visible medical identification. At least that is the opinion of many health professionals and emergency personnel. Are you wearing something that identifies you as having diabetes? If not, here are some of the most common questions about medical identification to consider:

What Is Medical Identification?

It is a form of identification that is worn or carried on you that specifically shows that you have a particular medical condition. This alerts others, such as medical or emergency personnel, of your condition in the event that you cannot speak to explain that you have this condition. Diabetes is only one of many conditions that may use some form of medical identification.

Why Wear Medical Identification?

Since we never know when an emergency situation may arise, it is important that medical and emergency personnel quickly diagnose potential problems. Imagine that you are a paramedic working on a local ambulance crew. You get a call late one night to assist a driver who crashed his car in to a ditch off the local highway. Witnesses at the scene reported erratic swerving from lane to lane before the driver eventually took a sharp turn off the road in to the ditch. When you arrive at the scene, the driver is barely conscious but seems otherwise unhurt. What is your first thought about the cause of the accident? Most people would say drunk driving, but that would be wrong.

This accident was caused by a rapid drop in blood sugar, caused by taking an insulin shot without eating something soon afterward. How would you, as a paramedic, though, know that just by looking at the driver? You may suspect it based on your training, but you couldn’t be sure. What the driver needs most at that moment is not a full examination and a trip to the hospital for x-rays, but some fast-acting glucose to bring his blood sugar back up. Had the driver worn visible medical identification, it would have would alerted you to check his blood sugar. That would have instantly explained the crash, and he would have gotten the treatment he needed and possibly avoided a more serious problem later on.

Medical identification also let’s family, friends and co-workers know that diabetes should be suspected as a first line of treatment should an emergency situation arise. The stigma some people feel about wearing medical identification is offset by the benefits. Wearing medical identification has saved many lives.

Medical identification is especially important for children and adolescents with type 1. Having visible ID quickly alerts teachers, coaches and other adults that your child has diabetes in an emergency.

What Types of Medical Identification are Available for Diabetes?

There are many different types of medical identification; some are clearly visible and others are hidden. The most common forms of medical ID are bracelets worn on the wrist and pendants that hang on chains around the neck. These are the preferable types, because they are visible and easily accessible. Medical and emergency personnel are trained to look for these types of medical ID, especially when they encounter a person who needs treatment but is unable to speak.

A less obvious form of medical ID is a medical information card that is carried in a wallet or purse. These cards concisely summarize important medical information but may not help in an emergency situation unless there is some justifiable reason to search the person’s wallet or purse.

Where Can I Find Medical Identification Bracelets or Pendants?

There are many different types and styles of bracelets and pendants, ranging from very simple and inexpensive to gold and silver plated ones that double as fine jewelry. You can view a large selection of medical ID bracelets, necklaces and pendants. Compare Prices

You can also narrow your search by price and specific features to find the one that best fits your taste and style.

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