Penicillin allergy bracelets or penicillin allergy jewelry is probably the last thing on anybody's mind when dealing with moderate to severe penicillin allergies. After all, bracelets, necklaces and anklets may not seem to serve any purpose beyond being decorative.
However, when it comes to a chronic condition like a penicillin allergy, being quickly identified as having this medical condition is often necessary.
This is why penicillin allergy bracelets are often worn. They are not just to inform anyone about the wearer's health status, but also to alert people, such as rescuers, first-aid staff and medical professionals of the appropriate action to perform when the wearer is involved in an emergency.
When penicillin allergic people were first encouraged to wear penicillin allergy bracelets, some people were not very supportive of getting "tagged" as penicillin allergic. However, the fact that the bracelets were medical alert tags and could help save a life in an emergency quickly showed why it was a necessity. Today, even with modern technology, it still is.
A penicillin allergy requires special medical care and immediate attention.
The penicillin allergy is the most common drug-related allergy, and those allergic to penicillin can be allergic to other similar antibiotics. Signs and symptoms of penicillin allergy range from mild to severe and can include hives, a rash, or itchy skin, wheezing, or swollen lips, tongue or face (angioedema). In the most serious cases, penicillin allergy can cause anaphylaxis — a severe, life-threatening reaction, which requires treatment with an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot and a trip to the emergency room.
In some emergencies, the penicillin-allergic person may not always be able to speak or communicate. He or she may even be completely unresponsive. Furthermore, an emergency may occur when a relative or a friend who has knowledge about the allergic person's penicillin allergy may not be around. In these cases, a penicillin allergic bracelet can silently inform the attending medical personnel of the disease and what may have brought on the attack.
Penicillin allergy can be a tricky condition to have, because penicillin is a common antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. People with penicillin allergies should consult their doctors about alternative medications to treat infections, and they should carry injectable epinephrine (such as an EpiPen) at all times. But in the event you are unable to communicate your needs in an emergency, or administer the injection yourself, a penicillin allergy bracelet could make the difference in getting the treatment you need.
Always ensure that you or your loved one is wearing a penicillin allergy bracelet at all times and especially before leaving the house. If necessary, pack an extra bracelet during special trips, particularly if you will be travelling alone or will be leaving town for a long period of time. Always wear the bracelet where it can be spotted easily and avoid taking it off. Great new designs won’t cramp your style and it can mean the difference between living a healthy life and suffering major medical consequences.
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