In 1963 the American Medical Association designed a special symbol that would alert emergency medical personnel of special medical conditions when they found someone who could not communicate. This symbol was made available at no cost to any manufacturer of bracelets, necklaces, wallet cards or any other devices that could be used to warn others of a need for specialized emergency care.

The news about the new symbol was distributed in the U.S. and abroad. Through the years a handful of manufacturers produced such items but it wasn’t until the advent of computer engraving that such items became more attractive. And since the coming of the internet age, there has been an explosion of medical alert jewelry providers. The symbols vary and from the authentic AMA logo but all are recognized because they are similar.

ID Bracelets – A Variety of Styles

Medical IDs also come in a variety of designs and attractive materials such as gold, silver, cloisonne, pewter as well as the standard stainless steel. Beaded bracelets attached to engraved medical plates are also very popular.

More than fifty years after their advent, medical alert IDs are common and emergency personnel is trained to search for such items. Many people have reported that a medical identification ID has saved their lives. Medical IDs carry vital information engraved on the ID plate to alert paramedics and other emergency personnel such as doctors of a medical condition, allergy or necessary medications.

The Need for Medical ID Bracelets

Wearing a medical ID is important if you have:

  • A heart condition
  • Diabetes
  • Food allergies
  • Medication allergies
  • Asthma, Emphysema or COPD
  • Epilepsy
  • Autism
  • Implants

For older patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, a Medical ID can be a lifesaver in case they leave home and become disoriented.

Bracelets and Necklaces – a Better ID Option

Some people carry a medical information card in their purse or wallet, but a tucked-away card may easily be ignored or overlooked in an emergency. Traditional medical identification tags are worn on a chain around the neck or on a bracelet. These types of visible ID’s are preferred by medical professionals because they are visible and easily accessible. In addition, medical and emergency personnel are trained to look for medical ID bracelets and necklaces. While some people opt to wear an ID anklet, medical personnel may not think to look there.

Medical ID tags will most certainly change in the future as information can be encrypted electronically. Some programs now offer a service where medical records are kept electronically; the medical ID provides a telephone number where your records can be accessed at any time. A medical flash drive (a standard USB “memory stick”) is also something to consider. You can load your critical medical information onto a small, inexpensive flash drive and keep it on your keychain.

Oneida Medical Jewelry

Oneida products bear the official universal emergency medical alert symbol designed by the American Medical Association in 1963. All are custom engraved with medical and contact information and all bracelets are engraved on both sides. Products include gold-filled, sterling silver bracelets and high polish stainless steel bracelets. Please visit their site for more information.

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