Diabetic medical alert bracelets or necklaces should be a “must have” if you have diabetes, and it’s not just me saying it. The 2012 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes published by the Americans with Diabetes Association states that having such an accessory should be mandatory.
What’s all the fuss? Well, complications from diabetes can cause two things to happen to you. First, you can pass out, typically from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Second, you can become confused, disoriented and/or incoherent through changes in your blood sugar. With either of these two scenarios, you may not be able to communicate with first responders.
If either of these events occur, it is critical to alert medical or other emergency personal about what may be causing the problem. After all, you don’t want them treating you for alcohol or drug abuse! Seconds count so make it easy on them.
WHAT TYPE OF MEDICAL ALERT SHOULD YOU GET?
EMT’s are trained to look for diabetic medical alert bracelets and necklaces. In fact, most EMT certification exams incorporate this safety protocol.
Anecdotally, many EMT’s prefer bracelets because they are faster and easier to find. They will typically be checking your pulse on your wrist so it is very easy to locate the alert.
Some people also incorporate a USB drive into the alert with a more detailed medical history and emergency contact information. While this information is not required nor typically used by EMT’s it maybe helpful for the hospital personnel.
WHAT SHOULD BE ON THE ALERT?
At a minimum, the following information should be included:
- Date of Birth
- Condition (i.e., Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic)
- If you take insulin, include this information.
- If you use an insulin pump, include this information.
The date of birth is particularly important for children, as different age groups often require different treatment protocols. Other information may be helpful or required; you may want to check with your doctor.
WHERE CAN I GET THE COOLEST DIABETIC MEDICAL ALERT BRACELETS?
Growing up, the only medical alert bracelets I saw were large and ugly. Unfortunately, many of these bad options still exist. Nonetheless, there really are some cool options available today.
Road ID: This company is my personal favorite if you are active and want something that looks athletic and cool.
Laurens Hope: This company offers more elegant options, particularly for women and girls.
Children with Diabetes: Follow the link to this page, which has dozens of options if you don’t like the Road ID or Lauren’s Hope offerings.
May Clinic, Diabetes Blog, Identify yourself with a diabetes medical alert ID bracelet< (accessed July 2012)