Opinions on medical jewelry

Hi everyone. I am looking for opimions on a topic of very little importance! When I first got my pacemaker, 3 months ago, I thought it would be a good idea to get a medical information bracelet. I figured that, if I experienced an accident or illness & was unonscious, it was important that medical personnel know of my pacemaker before doing certain tests or procedures. Now that I think about it, at that point damaging my pacemaker would be the least of my worries! Also, since undressing me would probably be one of the first things to happen, my (right now) very noticeable scar would tip them off. I figured I'd take the opportunity to list another chronic condition, COPD. Again, not sure how important that would be to know in an emergency situation. Information about my blood thinner is included as well, although I have never experienced bleeding issues.

I ordered quite a stylish bracelet--maybe my whole reason for getting one was to look cute(?). Now I find that it is not really comfortable to wear--the only wrist jewelry that I am used to is my watch. I don't think I will choose to wear it much. Does anyone think it is an essential piece of jewelry? Just curious. 


Medical IDs

by Persephone - 2021-04-20 14:50:21

Hi T!  I don't have an opinion to offer on the jewelry, but will say that your scar may not be that much of an identifier of your PM as you suggest.  People can have all kinds of scars in the upper chest area from various procedures, so I wouldn't bank on medical personnel being able to figure it out from the scar alone. 

I kind of had to give up jewelry due to skin issues and sometimes miss it - if you find that you do end up enjoying your new bracelet after all, wear it proudly!

It depends on whether you're an optimist or a pessimist ..

by IAN MC - 2021-04-20 15:08:27

Hello TLEE,     This question comes up from time to time. In fact there was a poll done among members a few years ago :-

Question :   Do you wear a medic alert bracelet or pendant ?

Answer:    45 % responded with a "YES " , 55 % with a "NO"

Although I am firmly in the " NO" camp I would probably think differently if I suffered from arrythmias and was on blood-thinners ; it really does depend on your underlying medical conditions.  I cannot accept that simply having a pacemaker justifies the wearing of such jewelry. Others will disagree no doubt.



Medical Jewelry

by Marybird - 2021-04-20 15:17:36

I'm in the "no" camp too, but it's really a personal decision, to each his/her own. As Ian suggested, I might feel differently about it if I had a medical condition that could easily go south in the event of a life-threatening emergency, or that needed to be known to first responders or other medical personnel for appropriate treatment in the event of that emergency. Say, if I were on anticoagulants, or had a serious chronic illness.

But that's just me.

yes and no

by Tracey_E - 2021-04-20 15:33:17

There used to be a member here who was an EMT. She scared most of us into wearing one, had some very excellent reasons from first hand experience pulling people out of wreckage. The biggest thing was them knowing where to transport us, second was the tools they'd use to cut us out. If we are in an accident and need emergency surgery, we won't want to waste time being sent to a hospital that isn't set up for pacers then need to be transferred. But I don't think that happens very often anymore, most facilities can deal with a pacer.

I have an entire collection of bracelets, and once upon a time I was fairly diligent about wearing one. I got one with an online medical record so I have minimal info on the bracelet, then the code to get to the online record. Then I got an iphone. I keep my emergency and health info up to date on the phone, and I'm rarely without it so I hardly ever wear the bracelet. 

I would think the blood thinner you are on is more important to let them know about than the pacer. 

Medication matters more than a PM identifier

by crustyg - 2021-04-20 17:24:52

I agree with Tracey: I am in the 'No' camp, but always carried both my tablet blister-pack and a card in my wallet warning that I was on apixaban when I was anti-coagulated.  Tablets are more quickly found than rifling through a wallet while everyone wonders why the guy who's come off his bike is oozing everywhere....

Even something as simple as steroids matter.  I still recall my Consultant asking me why a heart-attack patient that I'd admitted over night was on steroids.  I had no recollection, so he showed me my signature on the prescription - it was mine.  My notes said that without her steroids she could go blind - in a matter of hours.  Same thing with anti-convulsants....


by AgentX86 - 2021-04-20 17:57:22

No, it's not essential in any way. It's prudent,  IMO, but certainly not essential. I have both a bracelet and dog tag. I don't leave the house without both. About 18 months ago, Ihad a seizure, while on the way to the hospital in the meat wagon, I was sorta conscious but still paralyzed. One EMT found my dog tag and told the other to be careful and that I had a PM.

The choice is up to you but my experience tells me to wear them.

BTW, I'm on anticoagulants too but the EMTs apparently weren't so worried about that because I hadn't hit anything. I'm certain they'd have different priorities after an auto accident.

I also have a list if the drugs that I have severe problems with or which matter after an accident.

Makes sense

by TLee - 2021-04-21 10:15:54

Thanks for your input. I think that I will not only start wearing a bracelet, but I looked into getting one with an ID number to access more detailed information. I even added the dates I received my Covid 19 vaccination--figured that might be good to know. 

medical bracelet

by prettylady - 2021-04-21 20:38:33

just another advise. I wear mine when I leave the house. and take it off when I am home

Just my 2 Cents

by Buzbuz9 - 2021-04-23 01:00:05

Just thought I would add my thoughts, I have had a pacemaker almost my entire life(21 years) and although I don't have any extreme medical conditions I wear a medical id bracelet religiously. I tend to travel a lot and if you are in a foreign country it may be one of the only universal symbols. They may not speak your language or be able to read your phone. Also I use my phone constantly so it is almost always nearly dead. I don't trust it to hold my only hope for medical awareness. Also, the id bracelet that I wear has helped me convince foreign airport security that I wasn't lying when I had one. I think it depends mostly on your comfort and lifestyle. Pre-pandemic I tended to be a bit of a risk-taker and a traveler and now the habit has just stuck. I guess I would just recommend making sure you have one available to wear when you are traveling.



I’m torn!

by asully - 2021-04-24 02:43:49

Other half really wants me to get one.  I am personally a little picky about fashion and can't find any I like.  I asked a friend of mine who is a police officer what he thought, he had said now days the emts can figure stuff out very quickly and they are rarely needed.  He said he never looks for them if he is first on the scene but instead checks for obvious symptoms of sever medical problems, like the fruity breath of a diabetic, or a sternal incision on a heart patient.  He also said a quick search of a wallet or purse will often give them enough information that they don't need to look, since most people carry meds, business cards for their doctors, or ID cards for implanted devices.  He also said that once they have your name off your ID the hospitals can look you up before you even arrive and get all your information.  He did say it wouldn't hurt but he didn't think they were very necessary.  I have all my emergency stuff in my iPhone as well, including multiple emergency contacts who all know my medical history.  So as long as my phone doesn't go flying in a car wreck I imagine that will help as well.

Medical jewelry

by LondonAndy - 2021-04-27 18:02:19

A couple of points to consider for me:

1. Your scar will not always be so visible.  I rubbed Bio Oil on my scar (after the 6 weeks or so of skin healing) and after a good few months of doing this it is almost invisible.  In fact at my annual checkup 2 years ago, the tech asked me if I was sure it was on the left side!

2. Other medical conditions make them more significant, as others have said, and some providers such as Medic Alert offer 24/7 call centres where, in addition to the key points engraved on the jewelry, they hold a lot more information, depending on what you want to give them.  This can include medication, allergies, next of kin etc.

3. I too found the metal ones irritating, and wear a fabric bracelet with an engraved stainless disc, which I find much more comfortable.

4. A female friend of mine collapsed in a supermarket and was taken to hospital by ambulance.  Her medical info was on a card in her handbag, but nobody looked in the bag.  So wearing something seems better to me.

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As for my pacemaker (almost 7 years old) I like to think of it in the terms of the old Timex commercial - takes a licking and keeps on ticking.