View Full Version : Medical ID for coumadin users

Susan in FL
July 7th, 2001, 07:33 PM
Hi everyone! I have a question on something I haven't seen anybody mention. In my wallet, I carry a card all about my St. Judes aortic valve and another for the coumadin. However, my doctor suggested I get some sort of ID to wear--like a bracelet, necklace, etc. I looked up several Medic Alert type sites and the jewelry is either cheap (ie turn your wrist green) or very expensive. It is also rather ugly. I found a really nice medium priced gold ID bracelet that could have "coumadin" engraved. Does anyone out there wear "alert" jewelry of some kind? Any thoughts on what may be the best type? This may sound like a small kind of question, but my doctor (after 2-1/2 years with the new valve) really made me nervous about being careful with injuries, etc. Just wondering what others do. Thanks! Susan:cool:

July 7th, 2001, 08:32 PM
Hi Susan. How are you?

I bought a "Medic Alert" bracelet shortly after my surgery almost one year ago now. Can you believe it is almost a year already? I bought an el cheapo. ($45.00) Did not want to spend hundreds of dollars for a gold one at the time. Maybe in the future I'll invest in a gold or silver one. I have thought about it as this one doesn't look so nice anymore! I wear it day and night!
I thought it was important to wear something, as I am on the road every day and anything can happen as we all know. I just wanted to be safe, and for the paramedics or police to know my medical condition if I'm out and unable to talk.

Hope you're doing okay.


July 7th, 2001, 10:31 PM
Hi Susan. I wear the cheapy pictured here. It doesn't turn anything green but isn't exactly attractive. Doesn't bother me though. Go to this link for Medic Alert (http://medicalert.org/)

July 8th, 2001, 05:38 AM
Hi Susan,

I bought one at a local drug store. I asked them if they had any and at first they didn't know what I meant. They hunted around and finally found one. They had no idea what to charge me, so they just charged me five dollars! What a bargain. Like Hank's it is stainless steel so it will not cause skin reactions, but it is not exactly beautiful. But if you are on Coumadin it is very important to wear it, especially if you are on the road a lot alone.


July 8th, 2001, 06:39 AM
Hello Susan,

My dr. told me to get some kind of jewelry with ?coumadin? on it. I was very reluctant. First I don?t wear a lot of jewelry, second I didn?t want to wear a ?tag? telling everyone I saw that I had a problem. But my cardio is a VERY stubborn and convincing man..... he has a million horror stories! lol

I decided if I was going to buy something that was going to be on my body forever, it was going to be something I liked...... of course that was the most expensive one in the book. lol But I got it anyway. I got a necklace thinking I could put it inside my shirt and not have all the problems I spoke of above. That didn?t work... the necklace is very flat on both sides and it would stick to my skin! So guess what .... I did the same thing again.. only this time I got a bracelet. It doesn?t really bother me to wear it .. except it IS a medical bracelet.

I personally think if there is any way you can afford it you should get the one you like... Maybe Rain?s a spoiled little brat, but that?s my opinion. I hate the idea of wearing it to begin with, it helps if it?s something you like.

In Colorado

July 8th, 2001, 09:31 AM
I have the cheap bracelet. It is gold plated and I
get it at the jewelry store and have my name engrave on the top. It has a little compartment that opens and I have my medical info inside. Have to write small. I have to replace it about every six or eight months. But it only costs 15.00. And engraving fee. I really like this one with my name on it. I wish I could afford a real gold one. I also have earrings for when I don't want to wear the bracelet. And a necklace. It is a must. My doctor insists. You can also enter into a computer
that doctors can get the info if necessary.

July 8th, 2001, 09:41 AM
I just checked out the medic alert site that Hank posted. Those prices are not so bad. And the jewelry looks pretty. Maybe someone will buy me one as a gift. Maybe I better start dropping hints. LOL. Does anyone have an opinion about joining? Did you , Hank?

July 8th, 2001, 12:39 PM
Hi Susan

The regular "el cheapo" would probably serve best. I spent spent the "big bucks" for my medic alert bracelet. Though the chain is very nice the face of the ID is scratched up due to wear.

My neighbor has the lower cost one and the medallion looks good as new.

If I were to do it over again...would go with the lower cost gold and have a new chain attached by my local jewler.

It is a good idea to wear it around your wrist....the EMT's are trained to look at there....not in your shirt. No pun intended.;)

Patricia Choate
July 8th, 2001, 01:12 PM
I also wear a medic alert bracelet..plain stainless steel..and have all my medical information on file at Medic Alert. This was something my Cardiologist insisted upon. Another good thing to have is an EMS file. Medical information..such as "takes Coumadin"..heart valve replaced..allergies, etc is placed in a vial that looks like a large prescription bottle that is then placed on the top shelf of the refrigerator at home. A small sticker that says "EMS File" is placed on the front door. In an emergency, EMS workers are trained to look for the sticker and vial. Patricia

July 8th, 2001, 07:32 PM
Yes Missy, I am a memebr with medic-alert. All someone has to do is call the 800 number on the back of my bracelet and they can get all of my physisian information, medication information and anything else that may be required to treat me if I'm out of it.

It's not too expensive.

The back of the bracelet is engraved by them and mine reads "Aortic valve replaced, takes coumadin"

Mike M. in Hous
July 9th, 2001, 05:00 AM
I also have the cheap one (stainless steel braclet) It does not turn the skin green. I went with Medic Alert because they have you registered and for a little extra every year you can keep your med info updated for the EMT's to call in and find out what all is going on with you. Mine says Aortic valve replaced, Takes coumadin and has a number to call for more info.

I would deffinantly recomend the Medic Alert to any one with a valve replacement or who takes coumadin.

July 9th, 2001, 08:13 AM
I ordered a very nice gold bracelet in March from MEDICAL-ID.COM and it has been on back order every since. I sent about 20 emails and eventually a certified letter requesting a refund. They called last week and informed me a "check is in the mail." They actually whinned to me about being so far behind in their orders. Boo hoo. I coiuldn't believe it.

I decided on a simple chain and medallion to wear around my neck as I would likely take off the bracelet while at the gym or working around the house, thus defeating its purpose. I ordered the chain last from Med Assist.

Moral of story, Stay away from Medical-ID.com

July 9th, 2001, 12:47 PM
Hello everyone,
Its a coincidence that this thread is running at the moment as I have had a big problem for the last 10 days (see separate post) and today it occurred to me that I should have a permanent alert bracelet or something in view of what has happened. I'll try Medic-alert in UK. They will sell the same things you are describing I imagine. Its very noticeable that in your country people are much more alert and wise about their medications and so on. I tend to do a lot of research about everything that affects me but definitely seem to be in the minority amongst my contemporaries.

Susan in FL
July 9th, 2001, 07:38 PM
Thanks everyone for your information! I will probably go the medic-alert route and choose a bracelet I like--especially if I have to wear it every day. I had sort of chosen a regular ID I liked and was going to have "coumadin" engraved on it (where my name would go), but that may not get the job done. I travel a lot with my work, both in state and out of state, so probably need to not take any more chances than I already have! Hope all are well--thanks again! Susan:cool:

July 10th, 2001, 06:06 PM
I, like many others, have the stainless steel. I bought a generic medic alert bracelet that read "I take Coumadin". Along with the bracelet came an order form for a personalized one. Mine reads:
I take Coumadin
Heart Valve Prothesis
Allergy - Codeine
and my name

I had mine before I got out of the hospital. It is a very good idea. Could save your life!

July 11th, 2001, 09:52 PM
Hi Everyone:
Al got a Medic Alert necklace in l990 right after his valve surgery. He wears it under his shirt. We like the fact that it is registered and all of his information is available, if needed---and it was. When he had his first stroke in December, while at the local restaurant with two of his friends, the paramedics were able to immediately see that he "takes coumadin." They could have gotten all he other information had I not arrived before they left with him in the ambulance. A paramedic did say that he first looked for a bracelet.

Herb M
July 13th, 2001, 12:34 PM
I believe that there is, or was, another company producing bracelets and necklaces. I have been wearing a necklace for 13 years. I think it is stainless steel, and it still looks as it did 13 years ago. It includes my name and phone number and the fact that I have a prostheic valve and am taking coumadin. It did not cost very much. I also carry an embossed aluminum Emergency Medical ID card in my wallet. It has my name, address phone number, doctor and his number and the identification of the valve and the medications I am taking.

July 19th, 2001, 11:37 AM
Hi Susan,

I recently purchased a inexpensive MEDILOG braclet by speidel. I paid $22.00 for the bracelt and another 10 to have it engraved with my name and coumadin pd on it. I also carry my St Jude Medical Patient Identification Card in my wallet behind my drivers license. I want the police and medics to see the card if I'm bleeding and can't speak. I hope this helps.

Herb M
July 19th, 2001, 02:07 PM
I just picked up a flyer from the pharmacy. It describes stainless steel, silver and gold bracelets, necklaces and medalllions. The price is $21.95 for a stainless steel bracelet or necklace, including the engraving. It looks like the one I purchased 13 years ago. The company is American Medical Identification, Inc. Their web address is www.americanmedical-id.com


July 20th, 2001, 03:05 PM
Hi to all
after reading about the Medic Alert scheme in the USA I decided to see if it was available here in the UK and it is,The scheme seems to be the same You purchase an ID Tag (bracelet or pendant) and your details are engraved on it also a contact number so paramedics etc can get access to your medical history The tags are priced 22 for stainless steel but much more expensive for Gold and there is a yearly membership fee of 10 I think it is a great idea I intend to join as soon as I have my Surgery I feel it will give me peace of mind many thanks to the group members for telling us about the scheme
The can be contacted on

August 2nd, 2001, 09:05 PM
Hi Susan. I bought my husband a medical ID necklace to wear after his surgery. We were advised by the doctors and nurses at the hospital to get some sort of ID for him. We chose a necklace for him because it can be hidden under his undershirt and not be so noticeable while he is at work, in meetings, etc. I ordered him a stainless steel necklace (the company's name escapes me at the moment - I picked up one of their pamphlets at our pharmacist's counter.) and it looks very nice. On one side it has that medical symbol in red with the words "Heart Patient, Coumadin User" and his name, address and phone number on the other side. It makes me feel better to know that he's wearing the necklace should anything happen.

August 3rd, 2001, 06:19 AM
Joe has Medic Alert. He has a 10K GF necklace. There's a lot of printing on his! But I like the fact that one can update the medical info. in his file whenever we want so everything is current. I recently had to update his drug allergies because of the serum sickness he had from Ancef (cephalosporins).

For him, the service is worth the expense. He has a very complicated history.

August 7th, 2001, 02:35 PM
hi all. seems we all have the same problem/question. I had a bracelet made in 1978, when I discovered I would be wearing it every single day of my LIFE. It is pretty, with the medical alert symbol on it. You know, Im worth it. (Like Loreal). When a total stranger asks about it, I just say its my "astrological sign". They get a funny look on their face, but they usually dont ask further questions.

August 8th, 2001, 07:25 AM
Hi Herb,

I was justing reading the forum and went to the site you suggested for an ID bracelet. I had my surgery in March and I've put off getting the bracelet because the prices were so high! The site you suggested seemed very reasonable:)So I ordered it. Thanks for your input.

Bob Gleason
August 8th, 2001, 09:28 AM
Why don't we all get tatoos indicating we are on "the big C" and have a valve implant? It could be garnished with roses and "Mother" or whatever...........actual location of the tatoo could be optional.

Then we could combine this with our scar contest in Nashville in October. (Billy, Dick and I are judging)

Actually, I got a bracelet last year, but it was interfering with my golf swing so I took it off, like a fool. I am wearing it now.