MedicAlert?

Since we've recently been talking about medical issues that doctors don't take seriously, I have a question. Have any of you heard of MedicAlert, and do you know anyone who's had a good or bad experience with it?

Basically, from what I've heard, you're supposed to make an online account with your medical history, drugs and supplements you take regularly, and any allergies or sensitivities. I think that you actually mail the people your medical records for a while. After that you buy a wristband/bracelet/necklace/etc with the MedicAlert logo on it, and healthcare personnel can use the information on it to access the online account. Just seeing it on your body tips them off that you have some sort of health quirk. Supposedly they'll look at it before treating you -- especially if you're unconscious and can't tell them what you'll have a reaction to -- but I'd imagine that if it's an emergency they'll just go with whatever works for most people. Either way I figure it can't hurt and it might help, but how much does something like that help in real life? I can't really imagine ambulances having internet access.

http://www.medicalert.org/home/Homegradient.aspx

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MeiLin's picture

Most High

I never take it off. That way there's no way the medicos can say "Duh, I didn't know!" It's right there. It's either that or I tattoo it on my chest.

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

on the tattoo. My cousin is a tattoo artist. She did my fairy last summer. I'm getting touch ups this summer, as well as a celtic knot around my ankle. In return, I'm sewing her a cloak for Faire.

Anyway, I surprisingly don't know anyone with MedicAlert. I know someone who was going to get it. Don't know why she didn't. She is allergic to just about everything, as well as having a plethora of other health problems. Poor girl.

I do talk to a lot of people with LifeAlert, and have not heard anything good about it. If you are just outside your home when you need it, it won't work. So, if you fall on ice on your porch, you can be stuck soaking and freezing for a long time before you get help. Not good.

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

I don't really care about the alert service thing you can pay for. I just want something that will give medics a heads-up that "Hey! I have freaky allergies over here!" (and so on) that they'll listen to. Maybe if the information's coming from somewhere other than my paranoid mouth, they'll actually listen to it Smile

Voyeur's picture

Lurker here. My mom has one, and like MeiLin she won't be parted with hers. She's got some medication allergies, two replaced spinal disks and now a piece of implanted medical equipment that prohibits her from having MRIs. It helped her a lot when she was in France one time and in too much pain to give any relevant medical advice (other than 'oh dear god please make the hurting stop!!!!!').
But on the other side of things, she's told doctors, 'I have an allergy to such-and-such medication, it's here on my bracelet' and they've been like, 'oh sure, you betcha' and the next thing she knows she's shaking harder than a withdrawing crack addict because THE DAMN DOCTOR WOULDN'T LISTEN. [/rant]
So, short story long, it will help you a good portion of the time, but if you get stuck with a doctor who thinks that patients are walking lie machines not even a permission slip from Hippocrates himself is going to help you.

The Vixen's picture

Devotee

That sounds a lot like the rant my bestie's mom goes on when you tell her stories like that. She's an RN who's been at her specific location for over 10 years now, and she gets LIVID at how much doctors ignore their patients and the nurses. [insert Christian Bale style tirade - whom I love]

DanEGurl's picture

My friend just got a MedicAlert tattoo on her left inner wrist. It's actually surprisingly well done. Kinda cute, yet lets people know she's allergic to yellow dye food dye, wheat, and aspirin.

Here's a pic:
http://photos-a.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-snc1/v2081/1/91/5821426/n58214...

The Vixen's picture

Devotee

I don't know if that's really cool or really freaky.

I have a personal ick factor at getting anything 'record-like' tattooed on my person (sadly, it's probably the Jew part of me... bit of a sensitive spot).

But I do like wrist tattoos and damn but that's practical.

As for the Medi-Alert, the only people I know that have them is my cousin who is diabetic. I'm not actually 'allergic' to anything besides nickel (possibly bee stings, but I've never been stung, just a family history of the allergy), so I've never really had to think about it, but she never goes without it.

MissCrys's picture

My dad's Medic Alert bracelet was ignored once. By the police who thought he was on drugs (bad sugar crash, reacted poorly, while DRIVING). And again by the phlebotomist who decided to test for drugs, but not his blood sugar. Luckily my grandma got there in time to keep him from going into further insulin shock or a coma.

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