Does anyone think it's necessary to wear medical ID bracelet when power walking or running?
A few years ago that same question came up on the forum. It was a 50/50 split with 1/2 saying it was a good idea and the other half saying the medical ID's didn't do any good.
Since then I started volunteering at a large city hospital. Figure as long as they aren't shoveling dirt on me and I'm pushing people instead of flowers I'm in good shape. Have an occasion to talk with EMT people and they are now trained to look for medical ID and information stuff. That's the rule, at least, in Ohio.
Since I collapsed on the trail while walking the dogs, I decided I would wear a medical ID with medical information. While the larger dog stuck her nose under my arm and tried to lift me her verbal communication skills were sadly lacking. She tried very hard to help but was limited to the information on the tag on her collar. Some time was lost while they had to stop and find information about me. Since my heart stopped several times, that was critical information they didn't have when they needed it.
So while you may still run into nay sayers, I came down on the side of having more information available even if no one might take advantage.
I also have a valve implant, so I wear one because of the anticoagulants as well. Matter of fact, I had just gotten a new one when I got the PM diagnosis, and then had to get yet ANOTHER one! But it's just part of me. I never take it off. I'd rather make it easier for medicos to know what my issues are than take my chances without it. I don't find that it's in the way, and I'm not too concerned about fashion. I feel that it could be helpful to convey the info ASAP that it's a PM and not an ICD (and that I take beta blockers and anticoagulants). Every minute counts in an emergency. But it's your choice.
Me too. Arually, I have both a bracelet and a dog tag. I have persistent Afib/flutter and am on anticoagulants. I also have a an AV ablation and VVIR CRT pacer which results in AV dyssynchrony. I don't want EMTs wasting time trying to figure out why I have such a wierd heartbeat. I've had doctors give me really odd looks when they listen. They have time to figure it out. EMTs may not.
I just got one last week. Besides the PM I also take an anticoagulant and am allergic to Penicillin. The engraver did a good job getting it all on there.
I am not 100% sure I would bother if it was only having a pacemaker, but I have several conditions where it would be useful for parmedics to know about them quickly, and of course the reason you got a pacemaker may well be a factor, rather than the device itself. So on balance I would say they are a good idea.
And there are other advantages to having one: I have a "Medic Alert" bracelet, which I wear all the time, and although it has the key points engraved on the back, there is also a unique reference number and a phone number they can call 24 hours a day and they hold whatever further details you want to give them. So they have my full medical conditions, what medication I am on, doctor and hospital contact details and reference numbers, next of kin, home address.
One tip I was told: don't get something that looks too much like jewellery: there is a risk it might be missed.
You don't give any clues about your own medical background so it is impossible to advise you on your need for Medic Alert bracelets.
As Knotguy said there was a poll done on here a few years ago . Hundreds of people replied and the majority , I think 55 % , did NOT see any need for bracelets and don't wear them. I am one of those 55 % !
If you ONLY have a pacemaker ( as opposed to an ICD ) , and aren't on blood thinners and don't have any other medical complications then it is very difficult to justify the need to wear a bracelet in my opinion.
Enjoy your runs
I have had PM only for 3 months. Heart rate was regularly 40 bpm and I could not do ANYTHING. Was frequently lightheaded and finally could not drive. I am now pacing 97% of the time and have thousands of PVCs per month. Also have experienced rapid HR of 180 bpm. Am afraid something will happen during exercise while I am alone.
Think of it like wearing a seatbelt in your car only if you're expecting an accident.
John W in SC
Hold that thought, John W! A great way to look at the dichotomy.and I agree with you.
I think we should all wear helmets ........ just in case we get hit by a meteorite !
Now bear in mind, my hearts a wreck and I wear a CRT-D (pacemaker-defibrillator on steroids) so your results may vary.
One night while sitting at home I became bored and decided to throw a wild raucous party for some paramedics. They responded to the invitation post haste with lights and sirens blaring, and even brought in some cool computer games for us to play. Unfortunately I decided not to play along, and would not provide them with some key critical information they needed to determine whether to transport me to the emergency room or the trash dumpster out back. Surprising how important little things like the fact you are paced can be. All I could do was look stupidly as they pumped me for information, barely acknowleging when they guessed right.
I suppose they finally rolled the dice and decided to take me on that long drive across town to the emergency room, probably because my insurance would cover the $650 cost and they can always use more money for exercise equipment at the station.
Anyway I will never forget as they crashed through the double doors at the ER with me leading the way in a wheeled racing bed, they threw their hands up in victory and the leader bent down and said "Get a medical alert bracelet, it could save your life"
I've worn one for the 11 + years since.
I wear one but I'm also on a blood thinner. I got my 1st one in 3rd grade because I had CCHB. (didnt get a pacemaker until I was 34) Hated wearing it (many people wear them now, wasn't so popular then) By 5th grade I dont think I wore it much, then when I got my liscence I put it on my key chain. It's probably been 8-10 years I started wearing it all the time. I have mine thru Medic Alert and while it does cost a yearly fee I like that it has a 800 # to call that will give information about me. So when I'm out I lawys have id even if I dont have my liscenec.
I have a CRT-D pacer as well and I wear my medical ID all the time. My scar is faded and hidden under chest hair, so it might not be obvious to paramedics or other rescuers and I would want them to know. I run every morning and I also bring my cell phone. One thing I did that might make the ID a bit more acceptable is to order a "nice" one - in my case on a chain around my neck. I figured that I would be wearing it the rest of my life (hopefully quite awhile), so I should have something of good quality.
Steve & Sparky
Thanks for all of your great comments. I decided to order a bracelet for my own peace of mind.
I'm a paramedic in Canada and any person we find unconscious especially alone we are immediately looking for treatable causes. It is much easier and faster if the likely answer is on your wrist. Which with cardiac conditions fast treatment is essential for us. It becomes a lot more important for us in emergency settings if you don't seem to be the typical cardiac patient. For example I'm 24 years old with a dual chamber pacemaker and other than the slight scar you can't tell unless you were to press on my chest. Without my medical ID they may not even notice until in hospital when my care number brings up my medical history. The comment of it being similar to wearing a seatbelt while driving is the best explanation from a paramedic perspective in my opinion.
I wear one... It reads My Name, Pacemaker, Blood Type, and phone numbers to reach my Husband/Daughter/Son... I have one for everyday and one a little nicer for when I'm a little dressed-up....
You know you're wired when...
Friends call you the bionic woman.
This is my second Christmas with my pacemaker and I am so happy to be with my family.