Life Saving Medical ID Jewelry
By: Alere Staff
You cannot tell someone is on warfarin by looking at them. If a patient is unconscious, you cannot even ask them. But this type of information is critical for paramedics and other first-responders.
In an emergency situation where a fall has taken place or an accident has occurred, emergency response teams need to quickly assess the situation to determine possible injuries. If the victim is on warfarin, the treatment path might be completely different from that of someone who is not on this therapy. In addition, for internal injuries to tissue, bone or organ, internal bleeding frequently occurs, putting the warfarin patient at elevated risk.
The top priority of first responders or paramedics is to stabilize the patient. If the patient is on warfarin, this would mean controlling the bleeding through either compression or in some cases vitamin K injection to reverse the action of the warfarin. Before that can happen, medics need to confirm what medications the patient is taking. Medical alert jewelry - bracelets, pendants and even charm bracelets - can provide a list of the patient’s medications. A variety of medical alert products are available to patients today. One manufacturer even offers a medical alert watch. Many anticoagulation clinics recommend using medical alert jewelry.
Medics are trained to search the wrist and neck for these life-saving medication diaries. It is critical that warfarin is viewable on the medic alert system and that patients wear their jewelry every day. It’s also important that jewelry is updated when a medication is started or stopped.
Pendants that feature a button to press for help in the event a fall or slip do not aid in situations where the patient has lost consciousness. While there is a place for these devices, they should not replace bracelets, pendants or watches that essentially speak on behalf of the patient.
Warfarin has the potential to be dangerous if medics and other first-responders do not know a patient is taking it. Therefore, warfarin patients should invest in practical safety precautions like medical alert jewelry.