I had a nasty brittle asthma attack on monday 3rd March and have been adviced to purchase an ID Bracelet, can anyone out there recommend any good companies or societies that supply them.
Universal medic ID have a great website. I just purchased a heart charm ID bracelet from them and it's fab and really pretty aswell. medic alert UK also have a website but are much more expensive and require an annual subscription.
Sorry to hear about you attack.
Emily and I got ours from medicaltags.co.uk. Not too expensive and they do allsorts, definitely worth a look.
If you do a search on this site for ""medic alert"" (use the search box on the LEFT, below the ""talking points"" box) you'll find a load of older threads which contain lots of useful info.
They provide both bracelet / pendant and also keep more comprehensive medical details on file which is accessible to medics all over the world.
Thank you all for your comments, this site is fab and full of great infomation. It really was frightening this latest attack and hopefully I won't have one of them again for a while. Although I have had asthma since 1983 when I was having my oldest child it has been pretty much under control, the only problem I have now is that I am my husbands carer due to his rare condition (CSF Leak) so I have to try and get myself in tip-top health wise, which some how I think this latest bout has crept on me to suddenly. Thanks again for all the info.
Medic alert every time, internationally recognised I know for a fact Drs look for it and use it. I can put up with something that is not ultra pretty or stylish if I know it may well be a life saver. Got mine after a lot of nagging never take it off now simply because the law of sod says I would not be wearing it the one time I needed it. I want medics to be able to recognise it quickly for what it is.
I've just got mine from Universal Medical ID, a silver heart charm bracelet that looks like jewellery. With it you get a code to access thier Online Medical Registry and can enter all kinds of details about your health conditions and those of close family members. It's very comprehensive and can be accessed from all over the world and there is no annual fee.
Jen the clue to why I won't them it is in your posting ""it looks likes jewelery"" I don't want something that looks pretty I want something that might save my life, that paramedics and A&E Drs spot and recognise straight away. I don't find the medic alert bracelet intrusive and the only people who have ever asked about mine are people wearing one themselves!
Bex - The range I would have gone for with Medic Alert would have looked very similar to what I have but cost twice as much, it has the snake emblem and is plain silver on a nice chain, but it also has an extra small but highly visible charm. I can see little difference apart from the words medic alert and the cost of the equivalent medic alert bracelet being almost twice as much (which I couldn't have afforded). Also I was able to purchase a sportsband very similar to the medic alert one but with the info engraved on the outside for just Â£5 as an extra to my order. So I feel I got good value for money. The medic alert bracelet I would have chosen would have been no more visible.
We all have different needs and I am happy with my choice. I could have had a bolder charm from universal medical id but chose not to. No doubt if I had been able to afford to go with medic alert we would have made different choices as again I would have chosen something plain that looked nice to wear as well as carrying medical info.
My choice of something nice looking doesn't mean I am wrong. We obviously just want different things.
Like Bex I also go for medic alert everytime I need a new bracelet. I like the idea that medical professionals can just ring the number and have access to much more detail about my conditions than the details which are engraved on the bracelet. The charity have always been extremely helpful and they also fund bracelets for those on low income, without this I would have been unable to afford a bracelet whilst at uni. I've never had anyone ask about my bracelet other than close friends who just want to know what the wording is on the back. I think if I was wearing a bracelet with additional charms I would be worried that it would be missed by paramedics if I collapsed with anaphylaxis or a severe attack.
My bracelet has definitely saved my life on at least one occasion. During the heatwave of 2006 I collapsed in Boots on the hottest day of the year. Most people thought I had fainted with the heat until the pharmacist read my bracelet and realised it was anaphylaxis. She was able to administer my epi-pen and after a week in hospital I was able to come home again.
The charms do sound lovely and I agree as Jen says, we all have different needs but for me it's got to be medic alert as it's worked for me so far and I wouldn't want it to be dismissed as just jewelery.
Sparkly Fairy - As I say my bracelet would have looked similar if I had gone with Medic Alert over Universal Medical ID but just cost more. I would have still had a silver bracelet with a nice chain and a plain silver charm. The chain on my bracelet is nice to look at but also sturdy with every join soldered.
With Universal Medical ID I have access to Online Medical Registry where I have entered details of all my meds (and dosages), and all my conditions, contacts, and family history which is accessible to anyone with my surname and access code which is recorded on an emergency wallet card and one thing engraved on my charm is to see my wallet card (as well as being engraved with my name and asthmatic and food allergy.
I'm happy with my choice and could have had something bolder from Universal Medical ID just like those from Medic Alert but at a fraction of the cost. I just chose not to.
I believe that both offer very similar products just at different prices, one using a telephone registry and one using online.
You made your choice and I made mine. Just as mine might not be right for you or others, so might yours not be right for me or others. It is up to each and every one of us to weigh up the pros and cons, as well as choose bold or plain.
To everyone who has given info on ID Bracelets, just ordered bracelet from medic arlet it was so simple and staff very pleasant. Because I am benefits due to illness was able to order bracelet free of charge , no charge for bracelet or membership, plus I had the choice of bracelet or neclkace.
From a medic's point of view...
Personally, I have a Medic Alert bracelet - the standard large stainless steel tag with red embossing, on a black velcro 'sports' band. I would not have anything else for the reasons that Bex and Sparkly Fairy have given - it is, I think, the most instantly recognisable, which is, after all, the point. As Sparkly Fairy has said, they are a registered charity and they will fund bracelets for those on low incomes.
Having been on the other side, I can tell you that doctors and nurses do look for Medic Alert bracelets and similar, if they have a patient who can't give a history, but perhaps not as quickly or readily as they could. I think a wrist bracelet is more likely to be noticed quickly than a pendant or an ankle bracelet (think cannulas and gases being done!).
I would suggest that there are a few key features to look out for if you are getting a medical ID bracelet, whichever organisation you are going for (these are just suggestions based on my experience of looking after acute medical patients; I'm not trying to lay down the law or suggest that other people's choices are wrong):
Design of emblem - I would suggest that the more classical designs of emblem are the most easily recognisable. Most of these companies do something equivalent to the plain silver-coloured emblem with red embossed Rod of Asclepius symbol on one side, and a space for brief medical details on the other side. Personally I think a plain chain or band makes them more easily recognisable; I'm not sure that bracelets with other charms attached and so on would necessarily be recognised for what they are as rapidly.
Wallet card - vital, as it can hold more information than the emblem, and medical personnel will certainly usually readily look in the handbag or wallet of an unconscious patient for clues to their history. I carry the Medic Alert card and my own printed laminated card with more detail on it.
Facility to phone for more detail - very valuable. Medic Alert have my full medical history and protocol on file. Of course I always carry these with me as well, but there is always the chance of being separated from my possessions in an emergency, so it just provides another layer of security. Some companies don't offer this facility and just provide a pendent which is either engraved or has a piece of paper in it - this might be adequate if your needs are simple, for example penicillin allergy, but for those of us with more complex problems, the ability to store more information is really useful.
It's always worth remembering that the Medic Alert bracelet (or equivalent) doesn't just come into play if you have an acute asthma attack or anaphylaxis. If you became ill in any other way, or were involved in an accident, the medics would obviously still be pretty keen to know your history and allergies! I remember once Alex questioned why I was wearing my bracelet when out with him, saying there was no need as he could give my history. I pointed out that if we were involved in a car crash, he might well be injured too. Of course, if you are involved in an accident, you are even more likely to be separated from your bag and possessions, and perhaps also be away from home and be taken to a hospital where they don't know you.
I have noticed that even Medic Alert have started to make rather more 'pretty-pretty' bracelets and pendants which look less obviously functional and more like jewellery. I suppose it's a balancing act between functionality and the desire to have something that doesn't look too 'medical' and obtrusive. I can understand why people would want less 'medical' jewellery, and as Jen has said, it is of course a matter for personal choice and what's right for you. I guess it's partly dependent on the severity of your condition, the nature of your attacks and other problems and how likely it is that you will go off suddenly and be unwell to the point of being unable to communicate. Personally, I know that I can go off to the point of unconsciousness fairly rapidly, so I want the security of knowing that what I'm wearing is instantly recognisable, and the look of it is a much lesser consideration.
I used to be very self-conscious about my bracelet, and would turn it round so the emblem was on the inside of my wrist, try to cover it up, or just not wear it. If I had known about some of the alternative less obvious designs then, I'm sure I would have gone for one of them. I suppose I've realised that there have to be some sacrifices for the sake of safety - like nebbing in public, circumstances make it a necessity. It doesn't bother me much at all, these days, wearing the bracelet (although of course these days when I am out I am in my wheelchair which I guess is a tad more obvious than a bracelet anyway!). I have occasionally been asked what it is, and I just explain briefly. The biggest problem I have had, because I have the black velcro band (the 'sports' band, ironically), is that occasionally people will think it's a watch and ask me the time, and will be most put out when I can't tell them!
Maybe one day when our civil rights have been eroded a little more, we'll have a national database with all our medical details on it, which will be automatically linked to iris pattern or fingerprint so that any medical personnel can instantly access all our details. Until then, I'm very grateful for my little bracelet.
Take care all
Can I please back up loads of, particularly, what Em has just said with such extremely fresh experience. I wear a Medic Alert sports band which, I believe, has a superbly clear symbol. I also carry their emergency wallet card that has not only my medical conditions and a list of all of my medication, it also has my emergency contact details and my doctors details.
There was no way last night that, sitting down on the floor, struggling to breathe and with a mask over my face that I could have relayed any of that information. I was on my own, apart from the paramedics, a phone and a pc with a very close AUK friend on msn helping me. My meds, apart from reliever were all upstairs and I had crawled downstairs to open the front door. I could not say anything. The paramedics saw the Medic Alert symbol without even looking for it and also I managed to pull my emergency card out of my pocket. I had not been able to speak to my wife on the phone - the emergency services could and her number was on my card.
One of the paramedics said she thought the card was fantastic. It made it so simple for her to get detail she needed.
There is another reason suggested by Medic Alert for wearing one of these emblems and that is as an organ donor. OK, so nobody with any sense would want any of our lungs, but the organ donor system applies to so many other things. If you are in the state that you could be an organ donor, there is obviously no way that you could tell anyone. The Medic Alert system enables you to makes sure that everyone is fully aware, If you are wearing the symbol, it is far less likely to be separated from you than, say, a wallet or handbag with a separate card.
I had seen, but not appreciated, the fact that Medic Alert issues these free to those in need who cannot afford them. I am delighted at that and will, on my next renewal, make an extra donation towards helping them continue to do so.
I am glad that I have been able to have a bracelet free of charge due to myself and my husband both having to claim benefits because of ill health. Myself and my husband had both worked since leaving school up until recently and for over twenty year contributued to ASTHMA UK and other asthma associations/research and still contribute regardless of benefits. At this present time and in quite poor condition I am looking forward to my bracelet arriving, knowing that if (god forbid) I ever have an attack like I had on Monday 3rd 08 I will only have to show this bracelet or someone recognises it and help will be available in the quickest time. On Monday I could not draw breathe and found myself in a very frightening situation. I feel there should be a data base for Asthma patient and of course any other patients with life threaten conditions and nobody should have to pay for this or prescription charges in that case, people pay enough through their NI contributions
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