Does anyone record their Afib, and their resulting use of dabigatran, on a MedicAlert bracelet?

Should ambulance officers/first responders be warned that their patient is on anticoagulant therapy? Can all ambulance officers/first responders be assumed to know that dabigatran is not the same thing as warfarin; and that (currently anyway) it has no antidote? Is MedicAlert the most appropriate way to convey such information?

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21 Replies

  • My answer would be "Yes" I have my information on a Medicalert necklace as I feel its more obvious than a bracelet. I have a sticker on my car to show I wear one & I've copied , enlarged & laminated my Warfarin warning card for my handbag so it can't be missed. May sound a bit over the top, but important for those on the new anticoagulants to let as many people know they are on such medication.

  • Hi Saanzale, and welcome to the forum.

    Interesting point, some of us wear the rubber Warafin wristbands, but it's probably even more important for Dabigatran (Pradaxa here in the UK) as no obvious reversal agent, although it has a short half life.

    I would certainly think about medicalert bracelets or similar. And yes I think ambulance staff would know the difference.

    Be well


  • Beancounter I too wear a silicone warning wristband in fact I never take it off. One side reads Alert Anticoagulant, the other reads Nicoumalone medicated. I trust it would give the emergency services a heads up. You can customize these to suit any medication.

  • Where can you get these wristbands please? Sandra

  • Never come across the wristbands.where can you get them?

  • Add me to the list please I too would like one. Think it would be an excellent thing to wear when going for a little walk as I never take my handbag then.

  • Take a look at the website they are happy to answer any enquiries and ship to the UK for very reasonable postage. I tried to attach picture of band but cannot sorry.

  • Hi all

    As well as the website above

    If you go to Ebay and type Medical alert into the search you will find many many products you can buy, a really big of silicone warfarin wristbands. I didn't find any for the other anti-coagulants, but there are a whole raft of products which you can customise to your own medical conditions.


  • At a guess I would think the ambulance guys/gals would know and if they didn't they are in touch by phone/radio with a hospital where they could find out.

    I have a Medic Alert bracelet around my neck and a Yellow NHS card in my wallet .... those two things are (in my humble opinion) are all that is needed to get them on the right track. But only if you are unconscious or in someway unable to communicate - if you can talk then why not talk !

  • Thank you to all who have replied. I had not heard of MediBand; they do not seem to have reached New Zealand yet, but are in Oz, so will contact them there. But re my original question - what information do you give on your wristband? How important is it for a first responder to know that I am on an anticoagulant, if I am unconscious? And how important is it for them to know that it is Pradaxa/dabigatran, and not warfarin, and has no antidote?

  • Hi Saanzale

    I would certainly want them to know I was anti-coagulated, just to help their decision making, and then also it was Pradaxa/Dabigatran. Depending on what other drugs you are on, I would make a decision on what type of Medi-Alert, I am only on diltiazem, statins and warfarin, so nothing too drastic there for them to potentially mis-diagnose a drug, but if I were say diabetic, or on hypertensive drugs, then I would probably want a medi-alert which could list all the drugs I was one, perhaps one where you can write them down and insert into the alert.

    As regards the importance of knowing it's pradaxa, probably not that important, as you know it has a very short half life of around 12 hours so it wears off very quickly, perhaps only in the case of a very severe internal injury just after taking a dose is the high risk.

    And please note although no immediate antidote, just knowing what you are on will change the way they treat you, and these drugs are increasingly common, so I have no doubt that procedures have already been worked out for what they do in an emergency.

    Take care


  • Thanks Ian, very helpful. I'm on a real cocktail, for several conditions, so best I talk to my GP. And my thanks to HealthUnlocked, for making this forum available. Take three gold stars!

  • You can personalise these bands so include just what would be immediately needed in an emergency situation. Obviously when stable emergency services can be told of other meds but Warfarin or anticoagulant details would be a must for me.

    In my experience I have tried other eBay print companies but the lettering lifts or fades over time which defeats the object and contact is poor after purchase.

    I wear my my band in the shower, swimming and to bed...never even think about it being there. They do become weakened over time but I order 7 (minimum order) so am always sure I have a replacement.

  • I use a dog tag type necklace which is metal and is engraved 'Warfarin' on the outside. Push a small button and a USB fitting slides out and converts it to a USB pen drive. This will give an instant reading of all my drugs, medical history, etc for anyone who pops it into a computer, lap top or tablet. Nice idea.

  • That is so cool it sounds like sci-fi!

  • This seems to be a good idea to have in essence a USB stick with all your medical data contained within. I may move over to this..

  • I'm not on anticoagulants, but I do keep a prescription and ECG in my wallet just in case I'm confronted with anyone else who's denying there's something wrong again. The other thing I carry is a key fob with an emergency supply of meds in.

  • Hi

    I have a medic alert braclet with the facts that have AF, have a pacemaker, on warfarin and some of the other drugs I am on.


  • I have always had a medic alert bracelet, and I'm on my third one now. All three mainly containing my name, condition, address in the form of postcode and number, Blood group and main drug ie. amiodarone, second time the fact I was on warfarin, and now dibigatran. Oh yes, and telephone number for NOK.

  • Very interesting reading: due to AF + TIA have created my own carrying warning card which I have in ALL my purses and most important one in the car attached to steering wheel!! On my first package of Pradaxa was a warning card inside which I have now copied this advising medi-tag on wrist, condition, plus medication also GP's contact details. Hopefully covered any eventualities even going to the extent wearing one on seat belt whilst travelling anywhere.

    We are all survivors!!


  • I am happy with Warfarin , and I would warn people of the extreme dangers of Dibagitran . I do my own INR testing and do wear a medical alert bracelet stating , on Warfarin and Aorta valve replaced.

    I have no problems with Warfarin and if I get a cut I treat it with Wound Seal powder , I never use plasters as they can tear the skin off.

    Kvntoday. Lake Taupo New Zealand

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