Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere — at school or work or while traveling. Depending on where you are when an accident occurs, the people around you probably won’t know that you have hemophilia, especially if you’re unable to speak for yourself. As a result, you (or your child with hemophilia) may be at risk of missing out on appropriate care or not being treated fast enough.
A hemophilia medical ID bracelet or another form of medical identification lets people around you know how to react in a medical emergency.
Read on for three important reasons why you or your child with hemophilia might consider wearing a medical ID bracelet or carrying some form of medical identification.
A medical ID bracelet communicates that you have hemophilia and provides directions on what can be done during an emergency.
Hemophilia is a rare condition, so it’s unlikely that, unless they are told, other people (including first responders) would assume someone has hemophilia. Fortunately, a survey conducted by American Medical ID found that more than 95 percent of respondents look for medical IDs during health emergencies. The crucial piece of jewelry could make a big difference in how an emergency plays out.
If you or your child is living with hemophilia, you know how dangerous injuries can be. During an accident, you may not have the ability to ask for help or explain your condition. A hemophilia bracelet is an added safety measure that lets others understand the severity of the situation and informs them of other vital information, such as who to contact and what medications you take.
If you have a small child with hemophilia, having them wear an age-appropriate medical ID can ensure that child care providers or other caregivers are aware of their condition, especially if your child’s usual provider is not available or nearby when an emergency strikes.
In addition to using medical alert jewelry, you can work with your child’s doctor to ensure their child care or school has all the paperwork and information necessary to act appropriately in an emergency. You can also put emergency contact information and protocol fact sheets in a binder at home —perhaps on top of your refrigerator — for babysitters or family members who care for your child in your absence.
Paramedics usually check for medical information on a person’s body, in a wallet or purse, and on their phones. Medical IDs like hemophilia bracelets and medical ID necklaces provide vital health information to others.
Generally, medical IDs are customized to reflect the wearer’s unique health status. They often include medical information such as your (or your child’s):
When health care providers can rapidly access this information, it helps them give the safest and most effective treatment possible. Knowing what medications you or your child takes can help avoid dangerous interactions.
Also, people with hemophilia must be thoroughly examined and receive close medical supervision. The greater risk of internal bleeding means more caution may be necessary when performing emergency procedures or clearing someone to leave the hospital. It’s also important for others to be aware of possible symptoms of hemophilia, such as excessive bleeding in the mouth and joints.
Along with facing physical risks, many people with hemophilia experience negative impacts on their mental health, including fear of the unknown. Having a medical ID bracelet or other medical ID solution may help you feel more comfortable when you’re traveling to unfamiliar places or around others who don’t know about your condition.
If you have a child with hemophilia, any extra reassurance that they’ll be properly cared for can make it easier to cope with their diagnosis and allow them to be independent. With a medical ID, you know that if an emergency happens, you or your child will be more likely to get the appropriate care and your contacts will be notified.
A medical ID bracelet is one of the easiest, most recognized, and most effective ways to communicate medical conditions in an emergency. Medical ID bracelets don’t require service, upkeep, or batteries (which can run out).
Additional options for medical IDs include watches, necklaces, ID cards, tags, pendants, and key fobs. Most medical jewelry allows you to engrave the information of your choice, and others provide slots for paper inserts. In the United States, medical IDs usually have the Star of Life symbol, representing emergency medical services. This signifies the wearer has a medical condition that emergency services staff should note.
Depending on the style and the seller, you can get a piece of medical ID jewelry such as a silicone bracelet for a few dollars or pay $15 or more for a custom-engraved metal design. You can also find free medical ID cards online to print at home.
When a child gets to choose the color or design of a medical ID bracelet, they may be more willing to wear it. Try to involve your child in the process as much as possible to help them get on board with the plan.
Hemophilia jewelry is just one form of medical ID. There are many other options that might suit your needs or those of your child.
Audio medical IDs are small audio recorders that clip onto clothing. They allow you to save information in an audio file for emergency responders. You can record a message that includes details about first aid or any relevant medical information. In the event of an emergency in which the individual can’t speak, first responders can quickly press play to listen to the prerecorded information.
A USB device can hold your medical information, including PDFs of documents, and be attached to a dog tag or wristband. With USB medical IDs, keep in mind that medical information is confidential and should be stored and accessed securely. When shopping for a USB medical ID, make sure it has an encryption feature with proper security guarantees from the manufacturer.
Some smartphones have features that let people access specific types of medical information from the lock screen. This allows medical professionals to see your health information without needing a password for your phone.
If you or your child with hemophilia has an iPhone, you can set up a smart medical ID by following these instructions. If you have an Android or another non-iOS phone, you may need to download an app — search for “medical ID app” on the Google Play Store or your phone manufacturer’s app store.
Near-field communication (NFC) allows smartphones and similar devices to communicate with other technologies and transfer information — including medical information — over short distances. If you have a wristband, wallet card, or key fob that uses NFC, medical personnel can access your medical information on a secure website in case of an emergency. The information can include anything you think would be important, such as care plans, prescriptions, and medical documents.
MyHemophiliaTeam is the social network for people with hemophilia and their loved ones. On MyHemophiliaTeam, more than 6,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with a bleeding disorder.
Do you wear a medical ID bracelet or carry another form of medical alert? Has it been useful? If you have a child with hemophilia, what are some precautions you take? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.
American Medical ID is proud to celebrate over 25 years of serving the chronic health community by offering personalized, custom-engraved medical ID jewelry. In an emergency, the jewelry allows medics or other medical professionals to give prompt, precise treatment. Leading physicians, pharmacists, educators, and hospitals endorse American Medical ID jewelry for people living with a chronic condition.