Stylish Life-Saving Jewelry

By Cynthia Sliwa — June 30, 2011

Most people are familiar with medical identification bracelets, bracelets intended to alert paramedics and other medical personnel of medical conditions that need to be taken into consideration in case of an emergency involving the bracelet wearer. A bracelet can literally save a life. The July 2011 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal explains: “Paramedics are trained to look for medical-alert jewelry, and the wrist is the first place they check while taking a pulse, says Jennifer Frenette, board member for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.”

Medical ID bracelets can be stylish, too.

The feature in Ladies’ Home Journal illustrates this point, showing seven bracelets of a variety of styles that deliver the critical message to medical personnel. The bracelets pictured are (1) white leather from hopepaige.com, (2) beaded from laurenshope.com, (3) thin rubber from hopepaige.com, (4) Swarovski pearl from beadin-beagle.com, (5) leather from barkingzebra.net, (6) blue agate from beadin-beagle.com, and (7) stainless-steel mesh from hopepaige.com.

Ladies’ Home Journal considers the question “Should you wear a medical ID?” The magazine notes that: “A bracelet can alert first responders to lots of important information, including:

  • Food, drug or insect allergies
  • Hypertension, stroke risk or other cardiac problems
  • Asthma
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Rare diseases
  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • Sickle-cell anemia
  • Certain medicines such as blood thinners
  • Surgery, transplant and cancer patients”

The websites that provided the jewelry for the LHJ article variously include, among the conditions that merit wearing medical ID jewelry, the following conditions, and more:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Bariatric Surgery (Gastric Bypass or Lap Band)
  • COPD
  • Multiple Sclerosis

With so many conditions potentially meriting the wearing of a medical ID, it is easy to understand that medical ID jewelry is something that many individuals wear every day. Medical ID jewelry essentially constitutes signature jewelry for those individuals.

While the bracelets shown above are crafted of inexpensive materials and range in price from $20 to $70, a medical ID bracelet can be rendered in more precious materials. A quick search online reveals a number of sources of medical ID bracelets crafted in 14k gold, sterling silver, or titanium.

The medical ID tags themselves–which contain a smooth surface on which the personalized medical information is engraved–are available from various sources in 14k gold, sterling silver, or stainless steel. A jeweler or a crafter can purchase a medical ID tag, plate or charm engraved with the necessary medical information and incorporate it into a jewelry design. A medical ID tag typically attaches at each end to the body of a bracelet via lobster clasps. This allows for the wearer to swap out the larger part of the bracelet, much like replacing the strap on a wristwatch.

Medical ID charms and pendants, including dog tags, are also readily available for stringing on a chain or cord or attaching to a piece of jewelry. A heart-shaped medical ID charm can easily be added to a necklace, bracelet or wristwatch to allow the wearer not only to keep essential information available, but also to add a touch of personal style.

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