MedicAlert®: Jewellery that can save lives…

I have to admit, I’ve been meaning to register with MedicAlert® (AKA @MedicAlertUK) for quite some time now. It’s no excuse (I […]
I have to admit, I’ve been meaning to register with MedicAlert® (AKA @MedicAlertUK) for quite some time now. It’s no excuse (I know, I know!), but it’s one of those things that’s on my to do list, that just never seems to quite reach the top. With this always at the back of my mind, a few weeks ago I spotted Sarah Ward (AKA @GentleChaos) talking about MedicAlert’s range of emblems and jewellery on Twitter. Interested to find out more, I asked Sarah if she’d be interested in writing a blog post to share with the rest of the Enabled by Design community. She kindly agreed and here we are today, it’s over to you Sarah…

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Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I tend to think that a girl can never have enough jewellery. I’ve certainly got rather a lot of bits and bobs on my dressing table and love to mix and match with different outfits. In fact I’ve often thought I’d be lost without a particular necklace or bracelet.

 

MA_bracelets.jpgLast summer a good friend showed me a snazzy new bracelet she’d sent away for, that she said really was a ‘must have’ and something of a ‘lifesaver’. Having checked it out I was immediately keen to pick up one of my own. Now I’m never without it when I’m out and about. This is because, unlike the other shiny things that my friend and I have accumulated, this accessory is not just about the looking good, it’s also ‘got your back’ if something bad happens. This is really important to me because, like my friend, I have one or two serious health problems that aren’t obvious at first glance. In my case I can end up ill and unconscious with very little warning. When this happens I sometimes require urgent medical attention. Various people have had to come to my aid in the past and I’m no stranger to meeting with first aiders and paramedics.

Obviously when I’m out for the count there’s no way I can tell people vital things like who I am, what medical conditions I have and what medication I take (or should avoid).This is where my fab new bracelet ‘speaks for me’, it comes from an organisation called MedicAlert®, which I’ve joined, and is backed up by both an Emergency Medical Information card and access to a 24 hour telephone support centre where information about me that’s useful to emergency and medical professionals is held.


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The bracelet has a ‘tag’ as part of it and this is clearly marked with the names of my main medical conditions and medication allergies, my MedicAlert® membership number and the (international) telephone number of the MedicAlert24® support centre. Attention is drawn to this by the engraved symbol of a serpent coiled around a stick, picked out in red on one side of the tag. Traditionally this symbol is associated with medicine.

I can vaguely remember a friend at school having a locket with a piece of paper in it that listed their allergies. Whilst this did its job, sadly it had nothing in the style department, and as a result she was reluctant to put it on and it wasn’t much use to her.

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MedicAlert® seemed to have cracked this by providing a wide range of discreet jewellery. There’s pretty much something every girl (and boy) would feel happy wearing and just like other jewellery you can match bracelets or wristbands to your outfit, There are also ‘sporty’ emblems, watches and even military style dog tags.

Unlike those ‘old school’ alert tags, there’s no need to break open the tag to get to the information and this obviously saves time in emergency situations.

Where can you find out more and sign up for your own alert accessory?

Have a look at the MedicAlert® website or give them a call on: 020 7833 3034 or freephone on 0800 581 420. There’s a short video on the website and plenty of helpful information.

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MedicAlert® do charge an annual membership fee for receiving the support service and this is in addition to the purchase cost of MedicAlert® jewellery. It’s worth knowing though that MedicAlert are a registered, not for profit charity and wherever possible provide free membership to people who would otherwise be unable to sign up.

MedicAlert® jewellery starts from £19.95 for a basic emblem, annual membership is £25. A basic emblem is provided free if you’re eligible for the free membership support.

As with more high street jewellery, I’m sure there will always be new collections to keep an eye out for.

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My current favourite bracelet is this one:



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As a wheelchair user who enjoys a bit of sport I think this wrist band will come in handy:

 

Stop press: Thanks to Denise for flagging up that MedicAlert® have just introduced an Autism specific emblem. For more information read here or watch the video below:


Kindly written by Sarah Ward (EbD community member & occupational therapist)

Thank you Sarah for reminding me about MedicAlert and putting it back at the top of my to do list, quite rightly where it should be!

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I’ve now had a good look at the MedicAlert jewellery range, and surprise surprise, the one I’ve got my eye on is one of the more expensive options. Oops! Looks like I’m going to have to save up my pennies for this one, but in the meantime a stainless steel bracelet/necklace will do the job nicely! : )


Team EbD x