Dear Addy: Why Are Medical Alert IDs Important?


Dear Addy,
Several parents that I’ve met at the HTC have recommended I should get my daughter a medical ID bracelet. Why is this so important? Are there resources available to help me get her one?
Inquiring About IDs

Dear Inquiring,
For patients with serious medical conditions like a bleeding disorder, it’s important that emergency personnel know about their bleeding disorder right away. Universal medical identification like medical ID bracelets, seat belt straps, and dog tags, provide information when patients aren’t able to. In fact, emergency medical technicians are trained to look for these alert IDs as part of their examinations. Should your child be involved in an accident, such an ID can help first responders alert hospitals that they need to have factor ready for your child when they arrive.
As far as obtaining a medical ID, there are many options and vendors out there. While they may seem costly at first blush, there are several resources available to help receive one at low or no cost to your family. The first place to look is through your local bleeding disorders organization and/or your local hemophilia treatment center (HTC). If these organizations cannot offer your family assistance, HFA’s Helping Hands Items Reimbursement Program may be able to reimburse you for the cost of such an ID.
Lastly, there are some no-cost options that you can utilize. For instance, many cell phones have an option to include emergency medical profiles. While it doesn’t hurt to utilize this feature, folks don’t always have their phones-or they’re lost-during an emergency, and it’s not clear how readily-utilized this feature is by emergency responders.
Another option is to print the emergency information card found in HFA’s ER Toolkit. Simply fill out this card and encourage your child to keep it on them at all times.
As always, please be in touch should you have any more questions. By being involved and asking questions, you make this community resilient.
Have a question? Click HERE. Your name will be changed in the response.

HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.