What to Write on Your Medic Alert ® Type ID Bracelet/Necklet

Note: This is NOT an advertisement, but a summary of ongoing discussion amongst Association members together with current information available from various health care resources.

  1. The key issue is clear information that is meaningful to paramedics, medical staff, and anyone else who may be involved in your care following an accident, emergency or health event that requires more treatment than you can manage at home.
  2. Medic Alert® emblems come in a range of sizes to suit age, and amount of information to be included.
  3. Medic Alert® request that a doctor write the exact information to be engraved on the emblem. This should include all relevant medical conditions that will need to be treated in an emergency situation.
  4. There has, and will continue to be some debate over the wording of our condition. Some doctors suggest “Addison’s Disease”. Others suggest “Adrenal Insufficiency - Give Cortisone”. The latter option, is more medically descriptive, and will hopefully communicate to most medical staff the urgency of your needs, in an emergency situation. The words “Addison’s Disease” might not “ring any bells”, but the mention of “adrenal insufficiency” and the need for cortisone should flash warning lights to even a first year medicine or nursing student.
  5. Medic Alert® will also provide a full list on computer data base of your: name, address, phone numbers; medical conditions, allergies and sensitivities; usual medication regime; doctor’s contact details; next of kin details; and any other pertinent information for your care in an emergency. If the systems is used properly, staff can access this information for all the details 24 hours a day. You also get a personal emergency card.
  6. Membership to Medic Alert® is annual. Cost is an initial joining fee (about $40.00), plus an annual fee of $15.00, (allow for increases with the GST). These are for stainless steel emblems and chains. There are also gold-plated, 9ct and 18ct yellow gold emblems and chains, and 9ct rose gold emblems only. Prices accordingly.
  7. There are other ID medical bracelets and necklets available in pharmacies, e.g. SOS®, etc. Costs and services vary.
  8. There has been much discussion as to the usefulness of these items, weighing their cost against whether they are actually looked for, in an accident or emergency situation by medical and paramedical staff.
  9. Our efforts to increase awareness of our condition, and our collaboration on many medical initiatives, have included emphasising the value of checking for these identifying pieces of jewellery, and any other information ID cards, in an emergency. Our own Addison’s Disease ID Card, has proven to be useful already to some of our members when they have been dealt with by ambulance paramedics.
  10. The decision to purchase some form of medical ID is yours.

Robyn Atwood