Why are Medical IDs Important?

Why are Medical IDs Important?

A medical ID is the easiest and fastest way to share the necessary information that could possibly save your life.

IDs can save your life. According to the Institute of Medicine, preventable medication errors injure at least 1.5 million Americans annually. By wearing a custom-engraved ID medical professionals will have the information they need to help you quickly and  avoid further complications due to the use of medications that may have adverse effects with medications you are currently on, or are allergic to.

According to a survey of the National Association of EMS Educators, 95% of emergency responders look for a medical ID and strongly believe that Medical  Emergency Identificationan ID eliminates guesswork when treating a person who cannot speak or is under duress.

IDs can save you money. By taking away some of the guesswork during diagnosis, fewer treatments need to be  attempted resulting in a smaller bill. A survey of American Medical ID customers showed that of incidents leading to the emergency room, hospital expenses average seven times more than for those who were wearing medical identification.

IDs can keep your loved ones safe. Medical IDs worn by caregivers ensure that your family member will be properly treated in the event you are debilitated. Currently 50 million people in America are caring for loved ones with a chronic condition or disability (National Family Caregivers Association), and according to the AARP half of the US workforce will be caregivers in the next five years. By engraving the caregiver’s name, care recipient’s name, relationship and urgent instructions or contact information, a medical ID can keep your loved one safe in the event something happens to you.

medical alert  jewelryMedical IDs have come along way and no longer scream out to everyone you pass that you have a condition, instead  they now come in a variety of styles from your classic dog tag to charm bracelets and in every metal type. Allowing you to keep your style, but still share the medical facts that could save your life.

Check here for a list of some of the conditions that warrant the use of a medical ID.

Product Feature – Dog Tag

The dog tag is by far one of the most traditional pieces of identification jewelry. With its size and weight it is easily noticeable for medical professionals, and provides plenty of room for engraving.

Although the dog tag is most popular with men, American Medical ID also makes smaller tags for women and children. This allows for the same classic and familiar style, with less of the heft.

dog tag  identificationThis ID is great for anyone with a more traditional sense of style, or who simply needs a little extra space to engrave medical and contact information.

Available in stainless steel, sterling silver, gold-filled, and gold, this ID can alert medical professionals to your important information and easily blend into your every day style.

Is the dog tag your favorite style?

American Medical ID or Medic Alert?

When choosing a medical ID you’ll find many available options, and choosing the best option can be difficult. To help you with this important decision I’ll be comparing several of the bigger players in the ID field so you can decide which features are the most important to you.

medic alert logoFor this first installment I’ll be taking a look at MedicAlert and their member service.

Service: While American Medical ID focuses on custom engraving in order to relay information, MedicAlert also offers a help line to call if you need assistance and family alert system.  Both American Medical ID and MedicAlert provide a medical record service managed by you.

Style: If the style of the ID is what you are looking for than American Medical ID is probably where you want to look. MedicAlert provides the basic styles and the crystal bracelets, but you must choose only from the options they have put together, whereas with American Medical ID you can completely customize your piece of jewelry creating thousands of options.

Price: Although the stainless steel dog tag is about $20 cheaper, it does not provide space for front and back engraving (and also requires membership fees). On precious metal jewelry (silver and gold) American Medical ID averages about $30 less than MedicAlert.

Membership fees should also be considered when looking at both companies; American Medical ID does not require any kind of membership while the average membership fee for MedicAlert is $30 a year.

One Million Blood Pressure Tracking Cards Donated to Veterans

As Veterans Day approaches on November 11, one million people who served our nation are receiving a free, simple tool proven to help them live a healthier life.

blodd pressure cardAmerican Medical ID, a leading manufacturer of personalized medical alert jewelry, in partnership with the Mended Hearts, Inc., a cardiac support group, is donating one million blood pressure tracking cards to the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA), just in time for Veterans Day.

The convenient wallet cards, designed by American Medical ID, will include the veteran’s healthcare provider’s name, blood pressure medicine being taken, a chart to record their blood pressure, special instructions, and valuable tips to help keep one’s blood pressure under control.

The wallet tracking cards are being distributed this month to 42 NOVA locations around the United States. Additional cards will be distributed by the 250 chapters of Mended Hearts, Inc.

High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. More than 50 million Americans have high blood pressure, and government estimates state that about one-third of those have uncontrolled blood pressure. The disease, sometimes called the “Silent Killer,” often has no symptoms and can also cause damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other organs.

blood pressure wallet cardNormal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mmHg.

“Since high blood pressure has no apparent symptoms, it is not easy to convince patients to carefully monitor their readings. Even though these individuals may feel fine, high blood pressure left untreated over an extended period of time can be quite devastating,” says Nancy Claflin, president, of NOVA. “These convenient cards will allow veterans to keep an eye on and track their blood pressure wherever they go.”

In 2009, Circulation, the official journal of the American Heart Association, published a study that evaluates the effectiveness of a blood pressure wallet card in a VA patient population as a tool in keeping a lid on elevated blood pressure over time. WebMD, the popular online medical magazine, also reported the positive effects of wallet cards in 2009.

WebMD reported that using wallet cards to track blood pressure helped a group of veterans lower their blood pressure by 4.2 percent. The encouraging results clearly showed how this simple device can make a significant difference.

“High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of developing any number of its complications such as heart failure and heart disease,” said Raul Fernandes, president, of Mended Hearts, Inc.  “Empowering patients, particularly veterans, to monitor their pressure is one more step to ensuring they live healthier lives.”

“Communicating important medical information is a part of our company’s mission,” said Rick Russell, CEO and president, of American Medical ID.  “This donation is a natural extension of our philosophy and philanthropic efforts.  It is with heartfelt commitment and great pride that we give back to those that have sacrificed so much for our nation.”

This is not the only time American Medical ID has worked closely with the VA or its supporting organizations. The Houston-based company maintains a close, ongoing relationship with VA groups across the nation to assist them in carrying out a 2009 directive from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, to make ID bracelets and pendants available to eligible veterans at no charge to the veterans.

Veterans wishing to find a NOVA location or a participating Mended Hearts local chapter near them to obtain a blood pressure card can call 602.277.5551 ext. 7333, 214.390.6233 or 713.695.0284.

About American Medical ID
Since 1994, Houston-based, employee owned and operated, American Medical ID has created high quality, customized medical identification jewelry to meet one’s everyday lifestyle.  The medical IDs are available with various styles of bracelets, necklaces, and sports bands, in gold, gold-filled, sterling silver, stainless steel, titanium and nylon.  Each ID is custom fitted and personalized with complimentary engraving.  Candidates for a medical ID include anyone living with chronic or rare medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart conditions, stroke risk or memory impairment; persons with allergies such as food, drug or insect; and those taking multiple medications or blood thinners. For more information about American Medical ID, visit www.IdentifyYourself.com, email info@americanmedicalid.com or call 713.695.0284.

About Mended Hearts
A community-based, nationwide heart patient support network founded in 1951. More than 17,000 members operate through 300 chapters and satellite organizations across the United States, with two chapters in Canada. Recognized for its role in facilitating a positive patient-care experience, Mended Hearts partners with 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics offering heart patient support through visiting programs, group meetings and educational forums. For more information visit www.mendedhearts.org, email info@mendedhearts.org, or call 1-888-HEART99 (1-888-432-7899).

About NOVA
Nurses Organization of Veteran Affairs is a nationwide, voluntary organization composed of registered nurses employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information, visit www.vanurse.org or call 703.444.5587.

National Diabetes Awareness Month

With nearly 24 million Americans living with Diabetes, and an additional 57 million at risk, the American Diabetes Association has had November declared as Diabetes Awareness Month.

stop diabetesWith numbers that high I’m sure you know someone that has been affected by this disease, but do you know how severe Diabetes really is?

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.
  • Two out of three people with Diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  • The death rate from Diabetes continues to climb while the death rates due to cancer, heart disease and stroke have declined.

If awareness and a campaign for change to current trends does not happen then it is likely that one out of every three children born in the United States will face a future with Diabetes.

In the past year 814,000 people have joined the movement to Stop Diabetes. You too can also join in their goal to reach 1,000,000 by visiting Stop Diabetes.

stop diabetes logoStop Diabetes provides other ways you can support the cause by sharing information through videos and blogs and becoming an advocate.

What are some other ways you can help fight Diabetes?

Sportband Flex Sport ID Wristband

The Sportband Flex sport ID is the newest addition to American Medical ID, and it is the perfect ID for someone with an active schedule. Whether you are a runner, or just run outside with your kids this sport ID bracelet will keep you safe with the information medical professionals need with out getting in the way of your sporting activities.

Sport ID BraceletIt features a stainless steel (durable!) plate with your customized engraving and an elastic nylon band ensuring a perfect fit that won’t slide around while you’re on the go. If you want to make the Sportband Flex even more stylish you can interchange the straps to match the rest of your outfit, which is also a great way to get your teens to wear their sport ID.

The Sportband Flex won’t get in your way, but is still easily noticable for medical professionals, ensuring they can quickly identify life saving information.

We also have a different sport id wristband offered here.

I have use my ID as a runners ID when I run marathons.  What activity do you enjoy where this sport ID bracelet would be the perfect fit for you?

2010 Houston FAAN Walk for Food Allergy

Last Saturday we participated in FAAN’s Walk for Food Allergy in Houston, Texas, for a second year, and boy did we have fun! Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward a Cure is being held in more than 50 cities across the nation this year to raise awareness and funds for food allergy research and education programs. This year we are also proud to be a sponsor of FAAN walks in Denver, Long Island, and Chicago. Be sure to stop by our booth if you live in one of these locations or check out FAAN’s 2010 Walk Locations to see if there is one near you.

Andrea Rucker
Marketing

The Jewelry Prescription

American Medical ID was featured in a Wall Street Journal article last week, discussing the new high-tech styles of medical ID bracelets. Featured was our USB Dog Tag ID – our own engravable Dog Tag USB ID!

Read an excerpt from the article here:

“New bracelets and other medical-identification systems can fill in first responders on practically a patient’s complete health history. They’re a far cry from the simple identification bracelets of the past, which with a few engraved words informed medics that a person was, perhaps, allergic to penicillin. They can steer first responders to a secure website or toll-free phone number, or initiate a text message, to get the medical and prescription history of a patient who may be unconscious or unable to talk about their condition.

American Medical ID offers a flash drive in a dog-tag style pendant for $44.95 that can be engraved with basic medical information and loaded with a patient’s medical records. ”

To view the complete article, click here. Enjoy!

Liz Gabel
American Medical ID
Interactive Marketing

Why Do I Need to Wear a Medical ID?

There is a common misconception that medical bracelets can seem like a tool to label individuals with allergies, diabetes, epilepsy and other medical conditions, but there is overwhelming evidence that medical bracelets can help save lives and prevent mishaps. If you are thinking about whether or not a medical bracelet is right for you, here are few things to keep in mind:

  1. Diabetes:  Approximately 23.6 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. This outrageous number accounts for 7.8% of the total U.S. population and yet a lot of the population does not know what diabetes is or how to help someone who has diabetes during an emergency. [4] Your custom intake of insulin can be printed on your medical ID.
  2. In case of an emergency, paramedics will be able to attend to you without having to waste time looking through a medical record. More than 75% of emergency responders check for a medical ID immediately upon assessing the patient. If you are wearing a medical bracelet, it won’t be missed. [3]
  3. Perhaps one of the  least known reasons to get a medical bracelet is to help children with severe food allergies.  Reports have shown that the prevalence of food allergies among children under the age of 18 has increased 18% from 1997 to 2007.[1] Despite this growth, self reported responses from 409 food allergic children or their guardians, indicated that 42% of participants had multiple allergic reactions while in childcare settings and that only 32% of these participants were administered epinephrine as directed by their physicians.[2] The discrepancy here seems to caused by the fact that childcare staff and teachers are unaware or uneducated about how to deal with children with severe food allergies.  A medical bracelet can serve as customary instructions on how to help a child when they are unable to communicate their food allergies in an emergency.
  4. Epilepsy: Dealing with epilepsy episodes is not easy. Bystanders may not be educated enough about epilepsy to know how to help someone. The constant fear is as follows: ” I feel very insecure about going out in the world never knowing if I’ll have an episode and no one would know how to help me.”[5] Don’t let fear prevent you from doing what you want; a medical ID bracelet can help someone figure out what to do.
  5. Vegetarians: The 2008 census brought about some interesting findings. One in every 200 US kids are vegetarian![6] This may be due to the fact that there has been a sharp increase in interest  in children’s health in America , with 95% of census survey responders admitting that promoting healthy food choices is very important to them.[i]  What can be frustrating for parents raising a vegetarian child, is dealing with public school systems that are not vegetarian friendly. If the school faculty is unaware that your child is vegetarian, they may not know not to give them any meat.
  6. Asthma: Asthma affects 20 million Americans yet it is difficult to tell if someone is suffering from an asthma attack. A medical alert bracelet can eliminate the time wasted when trying to evaluate whether or not someone is having an asthma attack.
  7. Emergency contacts/finding your child: No one is a perfect parent and can honestly say that their child hasn’t escaped their sight. As horrible as it sounds if dog tags can help you find your lost pet… why couldn’t a medical bracelet help you find your child?
  8. They are more fashionable than you think:  Unfortunately, the common misconception about medical bracelets and necklaces is that they are unfashionable and stick out a little too much. What people don’t know is that medical bracelets have come a long way and are very customizable and can be highly fashionable.

Liz Gabel
American Medical ID
Interactive Sales Marketing
 

[1]http://www.aaaai.org/media/statistics/allergy-statistics.asp#foodallergy

[2] http://www.pediatricsupersite.com/view.aspx?rid=33824

[3] http://www.beadin-beagle.com/

[4] http://www.diabetes.org/about-diabetes.jsp

[5] http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f27/wear-not-wear-medical-bracelets-3076/

[6] http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/wireStory?id=6622568

[i] (Mintel- marketing health to children and parents March 2009)

Medical ID Jewelry In the News

We are aware of the importance of wearing a medical ID every day.  Bill Hageman at the Chicago Tribune explains that not only can medical ID jewelry be life-saving but also fashionable.  Read an excerpt:http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sc-health-0224-bracelets-20100224,0,2798412.story .

The notion goes back more than 50 years, when simple bracelets and necklaces noted a wearer’s medical condition, a great idea that can help emergency personnel provide faster treatment. As smart of a product as it was, some people were reluctant to wear such items because they were so pedestrian. 

They have gotten more stylish through the years and now come in silver, gold and titanium, some in leather, others even studded with semiprecious stones. At American Medical ID, customers can build their own bracelet online.”

To read the entire article, please visit

Until next time!

Liz Gabel
American Medical ID
Interactive Sales Marketing