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JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (564,684)
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2/5/12 11:43 P

Hummm; interesting idea!!!

J2740LOU SparkPoints: (317,639)
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2/5/12 9:32 P

I'd go for the medic alert bracelet or dog tag type medic alert necklace chain. Seems like a lay person would be more likely to see the bracelet and check it or look for a dog tag, rather than a tatoo.

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
2/5/12 3:24 P


DIABETICMEEF SparkPoints: (0)
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2/5/12 3:14 P

Thanks guys! good advice! yeah I'm not much of a jewelry person and I don't like how jewelry, especially bracelets, bang around on everything. But I guess I might try a necklace or something and just deal with it! Heck, I already deal with type 1 diabetes anyways!

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,458
2/5/12 11:14 A

I think that you have gotten very good advice in this thread. I agree with Goingtobefit. A medic may know to look for a tattoo unless it is otherwise obscured. A lay person may not. This is the first I have heard of medic alert tattoos.

Say you were passed out in your car and had your hands resting on the steering wheel. And the tattoo was not visible. A lay person may not know to look for a tattoo, and would probably be loathe to move you to try and find one. Until told to do so by trained professionals.

A bracelet would be more visible, I think.

If you had a lot of tattoos, that one may just blend in with the others. And personally I am not crazy about tattoos, that could be part of the reason I answered the way I did.

2/5/12 9:56 A

I can relate to your post in two ways:

- I am a medic, and yes we do learn to look for medic alert tattoos and we do check for them. But, like others have said, if they are covered in blood from a wound or otherwise we may miss them. However, in the case of an unconscious individual, a blood glucose test is ALWAYS done early, so even if a medic missed the tattoo, they would discover the low blood sugar situation VERY quickly in the call

-I also have a medical condition (severe anaphylaxis to 2 different medications) and personally, I chose to wear the medic alert watch or bracelet. I prefer the watch because its something I wear everyday anyways. I'm not a big jewellery person in general.

Now my personal opinion - If I were you I wouldn't be worried so much about the medics missing a tattoo or medic alert - either is good. And they are trained to deal with all sorts of situations with or without medic alert info. I think where medic alert is the BEST tool is when a lay person discovers it. Especially in a situation such as yours where you could go hypoglycemic and a layperson finds the bracelet right away before 911 is even called and knows what is going on and can get you some emergency first aid right away.

2/5/12 9:44 A

I would be afraid that rescuers would not look for a tattoo like they do for a bracelet.

DWROBERGE Posts: 354,997
2/4/12 11:10 P


ANARIE Posts: 13,184
2/4/12 10:20 P

The Medic Alert bracelet has more information on it than you could get on a tattoo. There's a bunch of stuff engraved on the back, including (I think) contact info and a code they can enter into a computer to get access to some of your medical records. Your contact info changes, and the code would be too small to read clearly in a tattoo. Also, the ink in a tattoo can fade in unpredictable ways, so you don't know how long it would be legible or recognizable as a medic alert.

And finally, do you really want everyone to know about your medical status the instant they meet you? Think about job interviews, for example. Employers aren't supposed to discriminate, but if you and someone else with exactly the same qualifications are interviewing for the same job and your wrist announces that you have a medical condition that will involve some extra insurance costs, that's going to influence the interviewer subconsciously. The bracelet isn't as obvious; the information is mostly hidden on the back, so they don't know if it's for an illness or an allergy or a donor pledge.

You should wear the bracelet. They're designed to be tough and to hold up forever, so you just put it on and don't ever take it off unless the information changes and you need a new one. They're waterproof, washable, etc; you don't have to take it off at night and you clean it by wearing it into the shower! It'll take all of a day or two to get used to it, and then you'll never have to think about it.

HEALER1 Posts: 1,145
2/4/12 7:59 P

Pathfinder--- a DNR tattoo on your chest is not considered a legal document. it will not be considered as such and you will receive full lifesaving measures. Just wanted to let you know not to rely on that as your Advance Directive.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,247
2/4/12 4:58 P

if you are planning on getting the tattoo where you would wear a medical alert bracelet and make it a very obvious tattoo, emergency personnel should be able to find it in most instances [and especially if you get the little medical squiggley by it]. even though they aren't trained a large, clear diabetic should be easy enough to find.

that being said most of the people i know with severe enough allergies for bracelets don't take them off. period. they aren't jewelry in as much as instructions in case of emergency.

and do you mean type 2 diabetes? because that's the one that you generally get over time, and that's the one that you can sometimes somewhat reverse with diet.

PATHFINDER52 Posts: 752
2/4/12 1:13 P

I'm not advocating for the tatoo, but since yours is Type 1 Diabetes, you're not going to be disease free, even if you are at your ideal weight. So, certainly, having tools that alert others (especially friends or first-responders) to your condition is wise.

I'm about to be 60 (you worried about regrets as you age) and I'm considering a tatoo on my chest to alert anyone who might be about to do CPR or use an Automated external defibrilators (AED) on me that my preference is "Do Not Resuscitate" and that I'd rather they just leave me alone.

Friends say that's harsh, but I've had a great life and, being in healthcare, I have no interest in having heroic procedures performed on me if circumstances could lead to my natural death. I don't have a "death wish" but I also think that life is best measured in quality not quantity.

You probably don't need to do anything more than wear the jewelry that is commercially provided. But do tell your closest friends HOW to help you if you need assistance, and carry the supplies with you that could save your life (like glucagon).


YISHAY Posts: 672
2/4/12 12:05 P

hi i'm Jessica Iit all depends on where on your body the tatoo is.

GARDENDIVA2 Posts: 612
2/4/12 12:04 P

There was a story about this a few months back on one of the morning shows. ONLINEASLLOU is correct. Emergency techs do not look for tatoos for the reasons listed. In addition to all the great tips given, make sure that you have your emergency contact listed as ICE in your cell phone. ICE = in case of emergency. Emergency and police personnel are looking for these on cell phones when they encounter someone who is not able to communicate.

Everyone should have an ICE number in their cell phone or as a stored number in their home phone.

JASTAMPER11 SparkPoints: (57,593)
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2/4/12 11:51 A

I think it is a good idea. Wear the bracelet too. I also think that it could become as popular as the medic bracelet. After all at one time it was a new idea, a new way to communicate. So why can't a tattoo also become a new way?

Then medical personnel would start to look just like they do now.

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
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2/4/12 11:36 A

I agree with the others ... The key issue is, "What will a stranger look for?" They will look for a bracelet first, then a necklace, then go through your wallet.

If your arm/wrist is injured ...people may not want to move your arm to inspect it carefully enough to read a tatoo. If it were burned or covered with blood, the tatoo could not be read. the bracelet or necklace is the standard. It's what people will look for.

Perhaps you should just wear it all the time, even to bed. It will just become a part of you.

NOREENBX Posts: 761
2/4/12 9:09 A

i have a lot of tattoos. However, no one is going to look, in an emergency, for a medical alert tattoo. All paramedics and other medical professionals look for the necklace or bracelet.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,267
2/4/12 6:20 A

Personally, I think if you bought a bracelet and made the decision to wear it every day, to alert others -- it wouldn't take long for it to become such a habit to put it on, that you wouldn't think of leaving the house without it.

You could leave it by your keys, to help remind you. On the dresser where you have your underwear drawer. (you're not going to leave the house without underpants!) Actually, getting into the habit of putting it on every morning whether you plan to leave the house or not, wouldn't be a bad idea.

I agree with redshoes-- a bracelet (or necklace), a wallet card. Post a little sign in your bedroom and the living room. Yes indeed, first responders look for this stuff. It's really important.

LADYJEXIE_2 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/4/12 2:41 A

There isn't enough money in the world
for someone to pay me to get a tattoo.

But my opinion doesn't factor in to your decision.
Or at least I don't think it should.

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/4/12 1:56 A

Wear the brace or the necklace- if a ambulance is called many times the doctor is referencing a patients history so marking your body for life - unnecessary.. Your not gettng trouble with type 1 your living with trouble, wear the brace or necklace.
My husband had type 1 from age 11 to he died aged 49.. His best friend has had it 60 years- they both wear necklace or brace.. They also had standard precedure instructions on a sign in their kitchens and sitting room wall if found unable to respond...
Also when out -strangers will look for the necklace or brace more likely than a tattoo.. Also keep a identity card and what you suffer in a wallet or bag on you at all times when out alone..

Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 2/4/2012 (01:58)
DIABETICMEEF SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 28
2/3/12 9:36 P

Hello everyone, I'm a type 1 diabetic and really trying to get in control of my weight and my disease. Part of that is just general responsibility about letting others know I have diabetes in case I am unconscious and can't let people know I am diabetic. I have alot of friends who wear medic alert jewelry but I'm not much of a jewelry person. I love jewelry but I always forget to wear any. It's not like the highlight of my day to choose my necklace for the day like other people. So I have heard about people getting medic alert tattoos on their wrist and I've kinda been considering it. I've always wanted a tattoo but I'm afraid that it won't be relevent to me in 20 years or I'll just hate being a 60 year old with a tattoo. I don't feel like i would hate a medic alert tattoo as much but what do yall think? Will medics know to look for it? The wrist is pretty visible I feel like but I just want some other opinions!

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