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Medical ID Jewelry For Anticoagulation (Warfarin), Factor V Leiden, Pulmonary Embolism, Or DVT

Updated on May 7, 2012
Emergency ID Wristband
Emergency ID Wristband | Source

Stay Safe With Medical ID Jewelry

Medical ID jewelry is a way to communicate any personal health information in case of any emergency. It includes identification, emergency contact information, and health information to emergency personnel. Medical ID jewelry is important because in many medical emergencies the patient is unable to talk. The medical team will first stabilize the patient and then at some point emergency contacts will try to be located. The problem with this approach is that stabilizing a patient may be impossible without key medical information. Diabetic comas, food allergies, and medication complications all require very different approaches to emergency care. If the first responders have more information, there is a better chance that proper medical treatment is given and a life will be saved.

Why Are Medical IDs Important For Patients on Anticoagulation Therapy (Warfarin, Lovenox) Or With A Higher Risk Of Blood Clots?

Medical IDs for people on anticoagulation therapy (using medications like warfarin, Coumadin, or Lovenox)

There are two large risks with anticoagulation therapy: excessive bleeding and internal head injuries that create pressure on the brain. There is also the risk some rare side effects that differ with each type of anticoagulant. Emergency personnel need to know about these medications in order to provide the best care as quickly as possible.

An example: If someone is found unconscious at a care accident, knowledge that they are on warfarin will let medical personnel know that internal bleeding is a very high risk. Specific drugs that can help the blood coagulate will be used and the patient will be tested quickly for INR and internal bleeding.

Medical IDs for people with a history of blood clots or who have a blood clotting condition (thrombophilia) such as Factor V Leiden

Pulmonary embolisms are incredibly dangerous. A Pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the lungs that prevents oxygen from reaching the blood. Some estimates put PE fatality at 30%. many people who get a pulmonary embolism will collapse immediately after the clot lodges in the lungs. This is because large clots will prevent oxygen from reaching the heart and lungs. CPR is useless to someone who has a clot in his or her lungs. The heart will not have the strength to push past the clots in the lungs. As long as that clot remains, any oxygen that is given to the patient will never reach the heart, lungs, or other parts of the body. A patient with a pulmonary embolism who has collapsed needs immediate care that includes special medical treatment that will dissolve the clots and restore the body's ability to process oxygen. There isn't much time for this to happen. Once the heart and brain loose oxygen the countdown begins. If medical personnel are aware of the increased clotting risk, they can look for clots rather than investigate other conditions that can also cause sudden collapse. Every second gained means a better outcome.

People who have had a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism are at greater risk of having a pulmonary embolism in the future. There are also many clotting conditions, also known as thrombophilia, that can increase the risk of pulmonary embolism. Wearing a medical ID may save a life if a sudden collapse from pulmonary embolism occurs.


Information To Include On A Medical ID

The first thing that every medical ID should have is a clear logo on it that shows that it is a medical ID. The most common ways to do this is to include a caduceus (snakes around a staff), a cross, or a combination of the two. This logo should be large and obvious.

The next thing that the medical ID should carry is the reason for wearing the ID. Some examples would be:

  • On Warfarin
  • On Anticoagulation
  • On Lovenox
  • History of Pulmonary Embolism (can be abbreviate Hx of Pulmonary Embolism or Hx of PE)
  • Factor V Leiden (or whatever clotting condition that you have)
  • History of DVT
  • On Multiple Medications

The other information that can go on a medical ID may be done in a few different ways. The easiest is to carry a medical ID card in your wallet at all times. If the patient takes this route, he or she needs to make sure that the ID is always in close proximity. The benefits of this method are that the medical ID won't need to be replaced if the wearer moves, changes medication, or changes other information and that more information can be included on the card than on the ID tag alone. If the medical ID card route is taken, the medical ID tag should note:

  • See Wallet Card

The wallet card can contain information like:

  • Emergency contact information
  • Name
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Medications
  • Doctor contact information
  • Additional health information

Some people will choose to include other information on the medical ID tag itself. It may be any of the information that is included on the wallet card. Keep in mind that if any additional information is included, the ID tag will need to be replaced if the information changes.

Where To Buy A Medical ID


One of the most known places to get a medical ID is MedicAlert. The customer will give MedicAlert all of his or her medical and personal contact information and MedicAlert will recommend what information to include on the ID. The information that you give will then go into MedicAlerts database. Each medical ID includes a number to MedicAlert. When the number is called, MedicAlert will provide the caller with the customer's emergency information. The company will also provide family notification. The customer may update personal and medical information on the MedicAlert site.

MedicAlert currently costs $45.00/year plus the cost of any medical ID jewelry. There is no charge for engraving the ID tags. The yearly fee includes wallet cards, notification services, medical information storage, and a 24-hour emergency phone number.

Medical ID jewelry without any other services

The down sides to MedicAlert are the yearly fee and the small collection of medical ID jewelry. For those who do not want to pay a yearly fee or want more stylish jewelry, there are many other sources of IDs.

Buying IDs through regular retail outlets

Basic medical IDs can be purchased through numerous retail outfits. These ID tags will come either pre-printed with information (warfarin, diabetic, bee sting allergy, epilepsy) or may be engraved. These IDs can be found on Amazon, at drugstores, or at many jewelry stores. The cost is often very low for these IDs but they are not very stylish.

Buying IDs through online specialty stores

For more money, one can purchase a trendy Medical ID through the Internet. These places often offer interchangeable straps to go with the ID, custom engraving, and a large variety of tags. Some places will require a payment for engraving while others provide engraving with the purchase. Make sure to check what engraving costs will be before placing your final order as they can vary greatly from company to company. Also, keep in mind that you want your medical ID tag to be noticed by medical personnel. If it looks too much like traditional jewelry, it may not be noticed in an emergency.

Medical ID Bracelets For Men

While many of the newer, "fun", ID bracelet suppliers cater to women, there are a number of nice medical ID bracelets and other jewelry available for men. All of the sites on the left include at least a small section that carries medical IDs for men. Some, like Creative Medical ID, have a boys section as well.

If you are looking for a very unique ID, I recommend checking out Sticky Jewelry. There is a very large selection of IDs that men will find attractive.


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    • Lwelch profile imageAUTHOR

      Lena Welch 

      8 years ago from USA

      I haven't seen a USB bracelet yet. I have seen a number of the keychain ones. Many of them seem to charge a subscription fee. The downside that I can see is that it would be great once you were at the hospital (if their computers allow flashdrives, some places don't due to all the viruses going around) but not sure if the first responders would have access. If anyone knows anyone who has had experience with this type of ID, please let me know. I would love to hear about it!

      Thanks for the comment!

    • connieow profile image

      Connie S Owens 

      8 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Terrific idea for the bracelet. I came across one that is a USB thumb drive. The kind that slips into the cover. This way it makes a perfect bracelet and there is enough room to store loads of important information.

      Vote up and useful.

      Thank you.


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