Who should wear a medical alert bracelet?


by Aditi Mitra, MD

May 10, 2024

When you think of a medical ID or medical alert bracelet, you probably think of people managing diabetes or other chronic conditions. But there are many other reasons to consider wearing these lifesaving identifiers.

Medic alert bracelets or medical IDs are a simple yet effective way to have critical medical information readily available in an emergency.

It could be a severe allergy, mental health or neurological condition, medication you’re taking, an implanted device, language preference, bleeding disorders or a communication challenge that can impact your ability to get the help you need.

Who should wear a medical alert bracelet?

Let’s discuss if you should consider wearing a medical alert bracelet.

Chronic medical conditions

Living with a chronic condition such as asthma, epilepsy or diabetes requires constant monitoring and management. In the event of an emergency, wearing a medical alert bracelet can help first responders and medical professionals quickly identify your condition and provide appropriate treatment.

For example, in the case of a diabetic emergency, first responders need to know whether the individual has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and whether they are insulin dependent. If this information is readily available on a medical alert tag, it can help save valuable time in getting you the right care.

Medical alert bracelets are most commonly recommended for the following chronic medical conditions:


Allergies to certain foods, medications and materials can be life-threatening. Wearing a medical ID bracelet can help alert others to the allergy and ensure that the right measures are taken to avoid exposure or provide treatment in the event of an emergency.

If you have severe allergies that could cause anaphylactic shock, a medical ID may be a good idea. Here are the allergies most commonly used for medical alert bracelets:

  • Pain relievers
  • Bee sting or bites
  • Latex
  • Nuts
  • Penicillin and other antibiotics
  • Sedatives
  • Shellfish

Bleeding disorders

Bleeding disorders are conditions where blood doesn't clot properly. This can lead to prolonged or excessive bleeding, even from small cuts or injuries.

Bleeding disorders listed on medical alert bracelets include:

  • Hemophilia A or B, or any clotting factor deficiency
  • Thrombocytopenia, a condition where you have decreased platelets in your blood
  • Von willebrand disease, a blood disorder in which the blood does not clot properly

Medications and devices

Certain medications can have serious side effects and interactions with other medications. In the event of an emergency, wearing a medical ID bracelet can help medical professionals identify potential drug interactions and direct effects of the medication itself.

If you are currently using any of the following medications or medical devices, you may want to consider wearing a medical ID. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Aspirin
  • Antidepressants
  • Beta blockers
  • Blood thinners
  • Cardiac implanted devices
  • Insulin
  • Seizure medications
  • Statins
  • Steroids
  • Thyroid medication
  • Urinary sphincter implant
  • Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt

Neurological conditions

People with mental health or neurological conditions can also benefit from wearing a medical alert bracelet or tag. Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following conditions to see whether they recommend you wear a medical ID:

Should you wear a medical ID?

If you or a loved one has a chronic condition, allergy, bleeding disorder, neurological condition or uses certain medications or medical devices, consider a medic alert bracelet.

While no one wants to think about being involved in a medical emergency, the truth is that these things happen. Being prepared with a medical ID can give you and your loved ones peace of mind that you’ll get the specific and prompt care you need.

Talk to your doctor about whether wearing a medical alert bracelet is a good idea for you, or find a doctor near you today.

About the Author

Aditi Mitra, MD is on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple. She specializes in Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

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