If you are injured or unable to communicate, medical staff need to know quickly if you are a person on dialysis and any other important facts about your health. One way to alert people to your health needs is to wear a medical emblem on a bracelet or necklace. It shows an internationally recognized symbol that lets people know your medical diagnosis, such as “Diabetes.” It also provides a phone number medical staff can call to get more detailed medical information about you. Wearing a medical emblem at all times helps ensure that you get the care you need, and that you don’t get care that could be harmful to someone with your medical condition. Also carry the medical information card that comes with the emblem. It has important information and may reduce the need for phone calls to the emblem registry service.
NOTE: A necklace might be missed if your upper body clothes are rolled up. A bracelet is easy to see, but it shouldn’t be worn on the same side as your dialysis access. It could block blood flow if it is pulled up the arm.
To get a medical emblem:
Ask your nurse or social worker for information about medical emblems. They can give you information about the National Kidney Foundation (1-800-488-2277) or the American Kidney Fund (1-800-638-8299). In some areas, these organizations cover the cost of your first emblem.
Other sources of medical emblems include:
MedicAlert Foundation, 2323 Colorado Avenue, Turlock, CA 95382, or call 1-800-ID-ALERT (1-800-432-5378).
Body Guard, 111 East Parkway Drive, Egg Harbor Township, NH 08234, or call (1-609-646-4777).
Your local pharmacy.
Information obtained from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guide “Preparing for Emergencies: A Guide for People on Dialysis.” Go to this link for the full guide: http://www.rsnhope.com/resources/emergency_preparedness_information.php
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