Ballpark Estimate: $25 to $100
What does your jewelry say about you? If you have any chronic health conditions, serious illnesses, or life threatening allergies you may want to purchase a medical alert bracelet, or other type of medical alert jewelry, as a way to convey your special needs in the event of an emergency.
Medical alert jewelry refers to a type of jewelry that’s engraved with important information that can ensure you get proper care if you become injured or incapacitated. When you’re unable to speak for yourself, wearing medical alert jewelry can help you avoid becoming the victim of a medical error, and can even save your life, by making sure your health needs are accommodated for properly.
How It Works
Most medical alert jewelry items have the Greek sign for medicine on the front, either engraved or raised. This is a black and red picture of a snake wound around a staff, which is universally recognized by professionals. The medical alert jewelry should also have your diagnosis engraved, such as diabetes, cancer, food and drug allergies, or autism. It’s standard protocol now for any medical staff to check for this information before administering any medical treatment.
Some medical alert bracelets and medical alert necklaces also include the patient’s name and contact information. However, since the space on the medical alert jewelry is very limited, often the wearer also has a medical alert card to keep in his or wallet that provides additional health and contact information.
Types of Jewelry
While medical alert bracelets are one of the most popular options today, some of the other types of medical alert jewelry you can find include:
- Medical alert necklaces
- Medical alert Shoe tags
- Military-style Medical alert neck tags
- Medical alert Phone charms
- Medical alert Wallet clips
A Range of Options
You might select medical alert jewelry made from sterling silver, titanium, stainless steel, yellow gold, gold filled, or a combination of metal options. In addition, you can choose a piece with a simple shape, such as a square, rectangle, or circle. There are also more stylized options, such as in the shape of a heart, star, or clover.
You can also select medical alert jewelry with beads, charms, and other accents to go along with the engraved tag. You can select a clip-on charm tag that you can add to other standard jewelry. In addition, you can find a range of medical alert bracelets that are customized for children, with bright colors and cheerful designs. Just be sure that anything you select is still easily recognizable as containing important medical information, so there’s no chance that it can be overlooked in an emergency.
Play It Safe
Some medical alert jewelry comes along with membership to a call center that will contain a database of your personal medical information, such as through the MedicAlert Foundation. This means that medics can call a phone number which appears on your medical alert jewelry and, using your personal serial number provided, get more details about your health history before administering any medication. This can be a valuable service.
Some medical alert jewelry also has a medical alert system attached. This means that this medical alert jewelry contains a special alarm that you can push if you suddenly need to signal for medical attention, and it will signal help to come.
What to Look For
You can find medical alert jewelry in most local medical supply shops. Some jewelers also carry medical alert jewelry that you can have personalized. Numerous options are available online. You can do a keyword search and an array of suppliers will come up. In addition, you can check out organizations that specialize in certain diagnoses, since they may offer medical alert jewelry for their members. A few places to start your search include the MedicAlert Foundation, American Medical ID, MedIDs, and Sticky Jewelry.
Cost for Medical Alert Jewelry
Medical alert jewelry comes in all different qualities and price points. Here is a sampling of what you can expect to get in various ranges:
- The most inexpensive medical alert jewelry piece costs about $20 or less. In this price range, you can get a simple charm that you can add to other jewelry you already have, or go for a set of shoe tags, a phone charm, dog tag, or a basic bracelet made of stainless steel.
- If you prefer something of better quality, for a cost of $25 to $100, you can find sterling silver options featuring either wider, bigger medical alert bracelet styles, necklaces, more intricate designs, beading, wallet clips, or leather accents. You can also shop for titanium pieces and ones with semi-precious stones included for this price range.
- On the higher end, if you want 14-karat gold, more valuable gemstones, good-quality pearls, designer styles, or customized jewelry, this can cost up to $500 or even more.
- You can also look to organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association and the MedicAlert Foundation to provide access to an around-the-clock emergency response center that contains a database with your health information. The cost for such services can vary, but it usually costs from about $30 to $50 a year.
You can get a simple piece of medical alert jewelry for a cost of $20 or spend up to a price of $500 for customized high end jewelry. If you want to have a call center option for medics to get more information about you, this can cost an additional $30 to $50 a year.
If you like the idea of medical alert jewelry but worry that the limited space on a necklace or bracelet isn’t enough to contain all of your health history, there is another option that may appeal to you. Some companies now offer a USB drive that can hang around your neck or from a key chain which contains all of your personal medical information. You simply add your specifics into a pre-formatted template. This makes it easy to use and also effective. In an emergency, a medical simply needs to stick the USB drive into a laptop, and he or she will be able to access all of your pertinent information. Better yet, this method will allow you to update as needed. A 2GB USB medical alert tag costs about $50. The potential safety benefits you get in return can make this well worth it.