About Medical IDs
What is a medical ID?
A medical ID provides information which could save your life in an emergency. With medical conditions, drug and food allergies, prescribed medicines and emergency contacts engraved onto the surface, a medical ID bracelet or necklace guides paramedics and doctors in giving you appropriate, timely diagnosis and treatment when you cannot speak for yourself.
Who should wear a medical ID?
People with a wide range of conditions are recommended to wear medical IDs to alert healthcare professionals in an emergency. The following are good reasons to wear a medical ID:
- Food, drug and insect allergies
- Heart problems
- Asthma, COPD
- Kidney failure
- Blood disorders
- Alzheimer's disease, dementia, memory problems
- Breathing disorders
- Rare diseases
- Epilepsy/seizure disorders
- Hearing, visual or mental impairments
- Transplant surgery
- Clinical trial participation
- Sickle Cell Anaemia
- Stroke risk
- Multiple medicines
Do emergency staff even look for a medical ID?
American Medical ID recently surveyed emergency healthcare professionals in the United States, including first responders and paramedics. The survey found that:
- More that 95 percent of repondents look for a medical ID during emergencies.
- More that 75 percent look for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient.
- 95 percent look at the patient's wrist to find a medical ID and 68 percent look for an ID on the patient's neck.
Who recommends a medical ID?
Doctors and healthcare organizations throughout the world recommend medical IDs.
- Alzheimer's Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Columbia University Medical Center
- Epilepsy Foundation
- Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Mayo Clinic
- National Institutes of Health
- The Merck Manual
- World Health Organization
What are the benefits of wearing a medical ID?
In an emergency, when you might be unable to speak for yourself, a medical ID bracelet or necklace protects you by speaking for you. Lack of information about medical conditions can be dangerous.
- Symptoms of common ailments can be misdiagnosed easily.
- Prompt diagnosis critical to effective treatment may be delayed.
- Half of all medical errors occur because of mistakes made upon admission to or discharge from the hospital according to a study conducted in the US.
The US study found that more than 95 percent of emergency medical responders look for a medical ID; more than 75 percent check for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient. If you are wearing medical alert jewellery it won't be missed.
They eliminate trips to the hospital, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and prevent minor emergencies from escalating.
Engraving a Medical ID
What medical conditions should be on a medical ID?
Below are examples of medical conditions which warrant wearing a medical ID.
- Abnormal ECG
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Alzheimer's disease
- Bleeding disorder
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Diabetes (insulin dependent)
- Diabetes (non-insulin dependent)
- Hearing impairment
- Heart valve replacement
- Hemolytic anemia
- Malignant hyperthermia
- Mental retardation
- Myasthenia gravis
- Pacemaker or ICD implant
- Renal failure
- Seizure disorder
- Sickle cell disease
- Situs inversus
- Visual impairment
Should medicines be listed on my medical ID?
If space permits, we recommend listing prescription medicines taken on a long-term or maintenance basis. This will give medical personnel better guidance for initiating treatment and will lessen the chance of a drug interaction.
Some classes of medicines that are appropriate for a medical ID are:
- Analgesics: including many narcotics
- Cardiac medicines: including ones for angina or atrial fibrillation
- Anticoagulants: Blood Thinners
- Anticonvulsants: for seizure disorders (Epilepsy)
- Antihistamines, Decongestants: prescription or over-the-counter medicines for allergies
- Antihypertensives: blood pressure medicines
- Beta Blockers: drugs that can slow the heart rate
- Chemotherapy agents: medicines for treating cancer or serious infectious diseases
Should I list allergies on my medical ID?
Yes. Allergic reactions to drugs, foods and insects can cause serious medical problems. A medical ID informs medics of an allergy, allowing for rapid response to a serious allergic reaction.
Allergens are numerous. Some common examples include:
- Analgesics: aspirin
- Antibiotics: cephalosporins, erythromycins
- Foods: nuts, wheat, dairy products, soy
- Other: horse serum, insect stings, latex, x-ray dye
What other information can be placed on my medical ID?
With space permitting, anything can be engraved on your medical ID,including:
- Advance directive
- Living will
- Blood type
- Contact lenses
- Difficult intubation
- Emergency contacts (next of kin, doctor, etc.)
- Implant (e.g., pacemaker)
- Organ donor
- Transplanted organ
I'm not sure how my medical ID should be engraved. What do I do?
- List only medical conditions which would be important to know in an emergency. For example, a minor surgery that took place several years ago may no longer be relevant to your medical care.
- Each medical ID style allows a different amount of information to be engraved. If you know you will need a lot of information engraved, select a style that can accommodate this, such as our two-sided IDs. You can also engrave "See wallet card" and list more information there than can fit on your ID. You should list frequently changing medicines only on a wallet card.
- Summarise your information with short, descriptive words. Any information that will not fit on your medical ID bracelet or necklace can be written on a wallet or handbag ID card.
- Only medicines taken on a long-term basis should be engraved on a medical ID. You may wish to list the most important medicines first.
If you need help deciding what to engrave, ask your doctor or pharmacist, or you can call the Customer Service team on 0800 055 6504.
If you need help phrasing a medical condition so that it will fit on your medical ID and still be recognised by emergency care givers, please call the Customer Service team on 0800 055 6504 and we will assist you.
Must I put my name on my medical ID?
Engraving your name on your medical ID is a matter of personal preference. However, listing at least a first name is recommended. In an emergency, EMRs and doctors will say a person's name in an effort to get his or her attention if the person is, for example, in a daze, a diabetic coma or unconscious.
We recommend that medical alert jewellery engraved for an Alzheimer's patient include his or her name and address or the address of a caregiver or family member.
Ordering a Medical ID
How do I order?
Online: Identify the item you wish to purchase. You will then be asked to tell us what you would like engraved on your medical ID. Finally, you will give payment and delivery information. Online purchases can be paid with a credit card.
FAX: If you prefer, you can print an order form here. Select the form that features the item you wish to purchase. Complete the item selection box, engraving information, delivery instructions and payment information. Payment can be made with a credit card. Fax your order form to us on 0800 066 4485.
Post: Print an order form here. Select the form that features the item you wish to purchase. Complete the item selection box,engraving information, delivery instructions and payment information. Payment can be made with a personal cheque, postal order or credit card. Post your completed form to:
Universal Medical ID
Wilstead Industrial Park
Telephone: Call our Freefone number, 0800 055 6504, and place your order with one of our Customer Service team. Phone orders require payment with a credit card.
Why does Universal Medical ID UK need to know whether the medical ID is for a male or female?
We ask if you are male or female to determine your medical ID's plate size and chain length. If you do not specify chain length in your order, we will send you the average chain length for your gender. The plates on our bracelets are differerent sizes according to gender. If you would like a specific plate size, please call a Customer Service assistant on 0800 055 6504.
What is the Customer Satisfaction Policy?
At Universal Medical ID we take great pride in creating personalised medical identification jewellery. From the time an order is placed, to when it arrives at your home, we want to ensure you are satisfied with your purchase. If you are not completely satisfied with your merchandise, you may return or exchange it in accordance of our Return Policy.
What is the Universal Medical ID Return Policy?
Because your medical ID is personally engraved and cannot be re-used, we cannot accept returns on personalised items. For returns on non-personalised items, please contact our Customer Service Department at 0800 055 6504 to obtain a Return Authorization number.Engraved items are non-returnable and non-refundable
USB items are non-returnable and non-refundableNon-personalised items must be new and unwornShipping, handling, and processing fees are non-refundable
The customer is responsible for all return shipping expensesAll refunds for non-personalised items will be processed within 15 business days via the original method of payment
Refunds totaling £10 or under will be issued as store credit unless originating payment method was by credit card or other electronic form of payment
For returns or exchanges of non-personalised items, please enclose your merchandise in a padded envelope and ship insured to:
Attn: Returns, Universal Medical ID UK Unit 1 Kenneth Way Wilstead Industrial Park Bedford MK45 3DP
Please include your Return Authorization number on the outside of the package.We are not responsible for damages or losses incurred during transit. For your protection, please ship insured.
What is the Universal Medical ID Product Warranty?
All IDs, chains, and attachments are warranted against defects in material or workmanship for 90 days from the date of purchase. Upon receipt, please carefully inspect your purchase for errors or defects. This warranty does not cover:Normal wear such as scratching, dents, or tarnishing of the ID, chain and attachments
Damage resulting from misuse, accidental handling, or exposure to corrosive substancesLoss of any kindRepairs by anyone other than Universal Medical ID
Changes in engraving information (unless Healthcare Professional Warranty is redeemed.)
How do I properly care for my medical ID?
TITANIUM is hypoallergenic. To preserve your medical IDís
appearance and minimize scratching, gently clean with a non-abrasive
soap or cleanser and water. Dry completely with a soft cloth. Store
your titanium medical ID in a soft cloth or bag. Remove your medical
ID when working with metal polishers or scrubbing soap. Heavy
Physical activity may make your medical ID vulnerable to scratching.
Consider wearing one of our stainless steel bracelets or necklaces
STAINLESS STEEL Bracelets: Only the Curb chain is adjustable,
allowing you to tailor the chainís length to your wrist. Your medical ID bracelet should be worn firmly, yet comfortably. A firm fit will preserve the engraving. If you chose a Sister Hook clasp, it opens to a ďVĒ by pulling its jaws out and apart. Attach the open clasp to the link to ensure the most comfortable fit on your wrist. To remove excess links, open the unneeded link with pliers by twisting open or cutting away the first unneeded link. Necklaces: If the necklace chain is too short, contact us and we will send a longer chain.
GOLD AND ROLLED GOLD: metals will tarnish when exposed to
acidic skin or air. A treated polishing cloth will discourage tarnishing. When storing jewelry, do not mix gold and silver. At a minimum, separate the metals by compartments. Guard your medical ID when using household cleaners, especially those containing ammonia or
chlorine. Heavy physical activity may make your medical ID vulnerable
to scratching. Consider wearing one of our stainless steel bracelets
or necklaces while outdoors.
STERLING SILVER A treated polishing cloth will discourage
tarnishing. When storing jewelry, do not mix gold and silver, separate the metals by compartments. Guard your medical ID when using
household cleaners, especially those containing ammonia or chlorine.
Heavy physical activity may make your medical ID vulnerable to
scratching. Consider wearing a stainless steel medical ID bracelet or
necklace while outdoors. Bracelets: Plates are rhodium coated which
helps protect your medical ID from scratching. Chains are not rhodium
coated. *Please note charm bracelets and the Odyssey Collection
pieces are not rhodium coated, therefore may require more frequent
cleaning. Necklaces: Are not rhodium coated. This includes the neck charm and chain.
What is My Interactive Health Record?
You can think of MyIHR as an extension of an engraved medical ID or a wallet card. For example, in an emergency,
your medical alert jewellery piece provides caregivers with a brief description of a few key facts.
Whe you sign-up for MyIHR when purchasing a medical ID, your PIN will be engraved on your ID with clear instructions on where emergency
caregivers can go to find more information about your medical conditions, medical history, medications and more.
A physician, medic or nurse may then locate your file online at www.MyIHR.com or
by calling the Freefone number where a medically trained operator provides live
assistance. Armed with this additional knowledge they will be in a much better position
to provide timely and appropriate care for you - possibly life-saving medical care!
Learn More about MyIHR here.
Why does it take so long to make a medical ID?
Our medical IDs are custom-engraved and custom-sized to reflect our customers exact requests. Considering we strive for accuracy and quality, once an order has been received and the medical ID has been engraved, the order is examined multiple times ensuring complete accuracy. The jewellery is then polished and packaged with care before it is sent to the customer.
Should I tell my doctor that I purchased a medical ID?
We encourage our customers to tell their doctors that they have purchased a medical ID.
When you receive your Universal Medical ID bracelet or necklace, you will find with it a Healthcare Provider Approval Card. At your next visit, show your doctor your medical ID and give him or her the Healthcare Provider Approval Card. If your doctor approves your ID's engraving, we will add a one-year engraving warranty to your account.
If, however, your doctor thinks additional information should be engraved, we'll be happy to add that important information for a small fee. You then will have another opportunity to get your doctor's approval and get your engraving warranty.
The customer is responsible for returning the medical ID if his or her doctor recommends changes.