The Importance of Medical Tags — And When You Should Get One Yourself
6 in 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, when it comes to notifying medical personnel about such conditions in an emergency situation, a medical tag can present the perfect solution. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or you’ve never thought about it before, here’s what you should know.
The purpose of a medical tag
The primary goal of a medical tag is to ensure that the wearer gets proper treatment in the event of an emergency and that person is unable to communicate their condition themselves. For example, if someone has a condition like a severe nut allergy and is unable to talk due to an allergic reaction, then others will know about the condition and can get first responders involved as soon as possible.
That said, a medical tag helps medical professionals decide the best course of action to take based on the tag’s information. This ensures the wearer will receive the right medications and care based on their condition, and can help prevent misdiagnosis as well as unwanted or unnecessary drug interactions.
One great example of just how helpful medical tags can be in the event of an emergency involves the use of medical tags in the military, which are characterized as red colored dog tags. While dog tags have been traditionally used for generations as a form of identification among soldiers who have fallen, red medical tags are used to notify others of a medical condition or allergy. In turn, soldiers on the battlefield who are severely injured will get the right care by medical teams.
For civilians, however, medical tags can be seen in the form of a necklace, bracelet, or even a card that can be carried in the pocket or wallet, and most emergency responders are trained to look for such identification in the event of an emergency.
Should you have a medical tag?
When it comes to who should wear a medical tag, individuals who have a condition that could lead to an emergency or a condition that medical professionals should know about needs one. This includes anyone with a severe allergy or condition like heart disease, diabetes, or even Alzheimer’s disease, to name just a few.
Additionally, anyone who has transplanted/missing organs or a blood disorder should have a medical tag as well. If you’re questioning whether or not you need one, talking with your healthcare provider beforehand is always a great idea, and can especially help in ensuring that the right information is on the tag.
The importance of tag information
When it comes to the information on the tag itself, it’s important to realize that there is limited space on most medical tags, meaning that the most important information should be prioritized. While this depends on the individual and their condition, the information on the tag generally states the condition or allergy. Though in some cases it may note things like medications, whether or not the individual has a medical device (such as a pacemaker), or blood type (such as for those with a blood disease).
In other cases, a medical tag might display any communication or cooperation issues that the wearer may experience, such as autism or deafness, which will help others in knowing what they can do to best handle the situation at hand. Because a medical tag varies from person to person based on their specific situation, it’s always best to confer with your doctor as to what information should be present on the tag.
A medical tag can prove to be extremely important in emergency situations by ensuring that an individual gets the right care. While these tags are worn by those with a serious medical condition or allergy, you should always consult with your doctor if you’re unsure as to whether you need one or not in addition to what information should be put on the tag.