Options for Medical Alert Jewelry and Tools

If the paramedics were standing in front of you and asking questions about your medical conditions right now, how much could you tell them without a cheat sheet? Could you tell them which medications you're taking? How about the dosages?

Recalling the details of your medication cabinet doesn't come easily during a medical emergency. But that information is vital to the professionals taking care of you. Emergencies happen when we least expect it, so it's important to prepare ahead of time.

Here are some products and services designed to help prepare you for the unexpected. Regardless of which one you use, be sure to update medical information regularly. Outdated information may be more dangerous than none at all.


Personal Medical Jewelry

Close-up of female patient hands with medical identity bracelet

Vstock LLC/Getty Images

Medical jewelry is an old standby. MedicAlert makes the most recognizable bracelets, with basic information engraved on the back of the company's emblem. Emergency workers can immediately see important conditions or allergies.

The Problem:

You have to wear it!


Wallet Cards

At home it's important to keep personal medical information handy. In your wallet or purse it doesn't need to be as detailed, but it does need to cover some basic information:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Drug or food allergies
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical conditions
  • Emergency contacts

Ambulance personnel probably won't look in your wallet. More than likely, the card will be found at the hospital.


Put Your Cell Phone on ICE

ICE stands for in case of emergency and can be used to label your emergency contact person in your contacts list.

The Problem:

Ambulance personnel may not look in your phone. They will, however, take your phone to the hospital where workers can call your emergency contact. Putting an ICE sticker on your phone can help them know to look for the designated contact.


Vial of Life

The Vial of Life Project sends you a form to record your important medical information. You then put the form along with any other important documents (such as a DNR, living will, additional medical information) in a ziplock bag and put the Vial of Life decal on the front. A second decal goes on your front door so that emergency personnel know to look for the baggie (the program suggests putting it on your refrigerator).

The Problem:

This method only works at home.

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