Don’t gamble with your health: Know the difference between a MedicAlert ID and a generic medical ID bracelet.

First responders at a medical emergency sceneMedical emergencies can happen at any time. Having accurate and up to date medical information that is easily accessible to first responders is crucial to getting the help you need and potentially saving your life. This is where understanding the difference between a MedicAlert ID and a generic medical bracelet is so important, when making an informed choice about your health and safety.

When you become a MedicAlert subscriber, you are not just getting a bracelet or necklace, you are gaining access to a comprehensive health information system. Once you are registered, MedicAlert’s medical profile specialists work with you to take a detailed history of your health. This goes beyond recent diagnosis, medication and concerns, it encompasses your entire health history, past and present.

“We have medically trained staff who gather your health information’, said Peter Lawrence, Manager of First Responder Partnerships and Community Engagement. “There is a science to it, there is a specific way to ask about conditions, medications, allergies, medical devices (such as pacemakers and knee joint replacements) and any other specific needs.”

Adds Lawrence, “when someone calls MedicAlert to register for one thing, they often end up telling our medical profile specialists, ‘oh I didn’t know you needed that’, but what we are doing is building your health record’”.

In contrast, a generic medical ID might bear engravings of conditions such as diabetes or an allergy to penicillin, however this information is too limited in an emergency situation. For instance, diabetes is complex and first responders need to know the type you have, if you are insulin dependent and if you are taking other medications, in order to provide the appropriate care. This is especially urgent if you are unable to communicate in an emergency. Generic bracelets can offer a false sense of security because they lack the necessary depth of information in critical situations.

Another important difference to consider is along with your complete profile, MedicAlert is linked to our hotline. “Your critical information is engraved on the back, lifesaving information, things that paramedics, police, fire and ambulance need to know in an emergency and if they need to know more details about you, they call the hotline number and they can get everything else,” said Lawrence. This direct link to vital information distinguishes MedicAlert from other generic alternatives.

MedicAlert is the pioneer in integrating a detailed Personal Health Record with a medical ID. It is the only service of its kind endorsed and “trusted” by Canada’s first responders. Your profile also includes your emergency contacts and demographic information. Through MedicAlert’s Connect Protect program, first responders are trained to look for medical identification such as our bracelet, necklace or shoe tag, further enhancing your safety.

In a medical emergency, the information available to first responders could be a matter of life or death.

If you or a loved one are considering a medical ID bracelet, it is crucial to understand the differences between a MedicAlert ID and a generic medical bracelet. Your choice might just save a life. If you were in an emergency situation what would you want first responders to know about you? The answer underscores the importance of making an informed decision about your health and well-being.