August is MedicAlert Awareness Month!

medic alert symbol

What better time of year than August to talk about the importance of MedicAlert and spread awareness? You may not be immediately familiar with this concept, but it is used by people of all ages to relay medical information in an emergency should they be unable to give pertinent medical information themselves. Have you heard of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order? That’s one form of a MedicAlert!

The MedicAlert Foundation was founded back in 1956. Its story began when Linda Collins, a young girl from California, cut her finger while her parents were away on vacation and required a trip to the hospital. “Following standard protocol, Linda’s uncle performed a skin test before injecting Linda with a full dose of tetanus antitoxin, which contained horse serum,” says the MedicAlert Foundation’s website. Linda suffered a severe allergic reaction and went into anaphylactic shock, which nearly killed her. After the intense hospital stay, she started wearing a silver bracelet labeled “Allergic to Tetanus Antitoxin”–the first MedicAlert bracelet. 

Nowadays, MedicAlert bracelets and signals do much more than indicate allergies. These medical IDs save time and lives in emergency settings by alerting health professionals about medical conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease (which is especially helpful if the wearer is lost), epilepsy, devices and implants like pacemakers, and so much more. If your senior loved ones use Life Alert, this is a very similar technology that allows EMTs to gain information about falls when the users can’t get to a hospital themselves.

Do you have a medical condition that would be important for first responders and health professionals to know in an emergency? Consider using a MedicAlert bracelet to make sure that message is relayed!