Information is power, especially in a medical emergency. That’s why more seniors are purchasing a medical alert bracelet or necklace to inform EMTs and ER physicians of any health information crucial to immediate care.
Medical alert systems come with call buttons that can also be worn around the neck like a necklace, so it can be easy to confuse the purpose of a medical alert ID bracelet with that of a medical alert system. Understanding the difference could be a matter of life or death.
Bracelets Provide Information
The purpose of a medical alert bracelet is to provide information to others about the wearer’s medical condition, allergy, or medication in the event the person becomes unconscious or unable to communicate due to injury.
In 1963, the American Medical Association created a special symbol to alert emergency medical personnel to important medical conditions when treating someone who could not communicate. This symbol is now used around the world on medical alert bracelets, necklaces, wallet cards, or other similar devices, and paramedics are trained to look for them before administering treatment.
With the rise of food allergies, medical alert bracelets are becoming more popular for individuals of all ages. Various medical conditions or medications could impact a person’s treatment in an emergency, and a medical alert bracelet calls immediate attention to these conditions. Here are just a few of the conditions a medical ID bracelet can alert emergency responders to:
- Heart conditions
- Food allergies
- Medication allergies
- Asthma, emphysema, or COPD
- Implants such as steel rods or brain shunts
Medical Alert Systems Send Help
As valuable as a medical alert bracelet can be in a crisis, the most it provides is health information once emergency help arrives. In contrast, medical alert systems help the wearer contact emergency help. They offer 24-7 emergency response at the touch of a button, including the ability of call center operators to notify and communicate with local EMTs. Moreover, medical alert system operators can request emergency personnel if a senior at home presses the call button but is unable to verbally communicate.
Bracelets vs. Buttons: Different Purposes
Many people have reported that a medical alert bracelet saved their lives in an emergency, so it should be worn by anyone with special medical conditions, no matter their age.
The worth of medical alert systems has also been repeatedly proven, especially for older adults living at home. Help is always just the push of a button away, and a senior can call for help even if he cannot reach the phone.
So, bracelet or alert system? The answer does not have to be an either/or situation. A senior may benefit greatly from both, depending on her individual needs.