Medic Alert Tattoo - Do you look for it?

livewiremaxx

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Guys, I am involved in a discussion on a diabetic board on FB - And have been a proponent against Medical Alert Tattoos because I know that in my area, most likely most emt's and Im not even sure medics would even pick up on, or see a tattoo that says Im diabetic, or alergic etc...

So I am here asking others that are outside or even in my area I wanted to put this out there for our area. Do you look for Medical Alert Tattoos? Do you think you would pick up on it, if someone had one, or in your assessment would pass over it VS a person having a medical alert bracelet, or necklace

And then another part, do your protocols or practice drills include looking for a tattoo alert?

Thanks guys
 

Anjel

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If I have an unreaponsive I look.at the wrist and neck for an alert bracelet.

My supervisor has one on his wrist that has the symbol and says IDDM.

I would notice that. I noticed it the first time I met him.

As long as its on the wrist I would see it.
 

Handsome Robb

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We are taught to look for Medic Alert tattoos. I have never seen one personally but I know a few people who have, mostly on the wrist but a few had them just above the sternal notch.

Usually they are plain text and easy to read according to everyone that I have talked to. They said they stood out for that exact reason, they weren't all fancy script. My buddy told me the one he saw said MEDIC ALERT! then listed the condition under that.
 

DesertMedic66

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If the tattoo is on a normal place where an alert bracelet/necklace/other tag would be then it should be easily seen.
 

Nervegas

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I always check Unc/Unr patients for bracelets and necklaces. It was taught in basic school as part of our assessment and has stuck with me since.
 

Lozenger19

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I was taught to look for medic alert ID (any form) as part of secondary survey.

I currently have a medic alert bracelet, but I'm thinking about getting it as a tattoo on my wrist instead. That way I wouldn't have to worry about infection control at work


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Lozenger19

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Yeah, we're all taught it... but do you really look? Peanut Gallery, do you follow DNR tattoos?

Has anyone seen some of the newer medic alert-type bracelets available?
http://www.roadid.com
http://medicalhistorybracelet.com/
http://www.vitalkey.com/

Do you think that if you saw one of these you would know what to do with it?

Like the idea of the USB stick, but that would rely on the person doing the treatment to have access to a computer to get the details


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Handsome Robb

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Yeah, we're all taught it... but do you really look? Peanut Gallery, do you follow DNR tattoos?

Has anyone seen some of the newer medic alert-type bracelets available?
http://www.roadid.com
http://medicalhistorybracelet.com/
http://www.vitalkey.com/

Do you think that if you saw one of these you would know what to do with it?

Some of those would definitely catch me off guard.

As for DNR tattoos it would definitely make me ask someone to start wandering around the house looking for the official paperwork and asking family/friends about it if it already wasn't happening. As for deciding on BLS vs. ACLS care I might be a little more inclined to go BLS until we can confirm the absence of paperwork or until we could get a doc on the line for a consult.

Guy in my class keeps joking about getting his DNR tattooed on his chest with a docs signature, license number and phone number. I for one said I would get a target that says "Push Here" :rofl:
 

KempoEMT

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Had a guy I knew in college who had Diabetic, tattooed on his wrist. Noticed the first time I ever saw him. I mentioned it, and he said he had it done, so that he wouldnt have the bracelet break while he was working on as a stone mason
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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I never did, and never saw one on exam.

Considering the BS that goes onto people's skin, I'd as likely follow a tattooed medical net as stop a guy driving a car with the letters "MD" somewhere in the normal numbering and ask for advice.

I know I had to change my medic alert dog tags twice to reflect changing meds, hate to do that on a tattoo. Also, due to phagocytosis and skin growth or damage, the message would become blearier as time went on unless it was about an inch high.

(What DOES HIPPAA say about tattoos?:unsure: )
 

Seaglass

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If the tattoo is on a normal place where an alert bracelet/necklace/other tag would be then it should be easily seen.

That's the key. I know a girl who has an allergy tattoo on her shoulder blade. Not a great idea.

I've also seen joggers with tags that lace into their shoes. I check for those now, but only after missing the first one I encountered.
 
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livewiremaxx

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What color would stand out? I have people posting pics of plain black, purple, red and blue - in a dimly light area, what would be the standard. The problem is no one is doing one and the same.

Ive been a pretty strong advocate of not going against the grain and doing something different - emt.dan is right, are we going to take the time to go looking for a tattoo, probably not (talking street emts and not medics). Youll have to twist and move the arm and wrist around more than you probably would to look, and in the time frame we need to do it - probably be missed. What colors are you looking for to stand out? What if its a dimly lit area, person wearing long sleeves.

I think as we go down on our assessment, we are more into feeling - the blood sweep your feeling and looking at your hands, not a wrist or arm - right? So we feel a bracelet.

The usb bracelet, I have been also very against, - How many units out there have the ability to read a stick? I know no agency in my county that could. And someone is relying on this to get us information about their conditions

There was an article I found from back in 2007 in a video that said - most likely a tattoo would not be seen in the in field situation - and they are right. So Im just wondering if its worth the risk. There are like 20 diabetics in this forum that I am in that are so I GOT TO GET ME ONE OF THOSE TATTOOS its going to save my life mentality - and Ive been trying to say dont count on it, its not what we are trained to look for. ** but thats why I asked here, to see if anyone is training to look for or would spot. I appreciate all the responses
 

mycrofft

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Good points against.

What if the tattoo is burned, covered with blood, abraded, bandaged over, requiring unwise manipulation, etc?
 

pa132399

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im sorry but i think the usb is a horrible idea to get the information from my truck doesnt have a computer in it and it essentially would be useless to me at my work.
 

fast65

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What if the tattoo is burned, covered with blood, abraded, bandaged over, requiring unwise manipulation, etc?

Or has no info on it...

The only medical alert tattoo I've ever seen was only a star of life on the wrist with no writing. Turns out he was a diabetic.
 

abckidsmom

Dances with Patients
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Yeah, we're all taught it... but do you really look? Peanut Gallery, do you follow DNR tattoos?

Has anyone seen some of the newer medic alert-type bracelets available?
http://www.roadid.com
http://medicalhistorybracelet.com/
http://www.vitalkey.com/

Do you think that if you saw one of these you would know what to do with it?

I've seen one of these twice, the first time the pt told me about it. It was so cool, I was giddy. Very neat.

As for the OP, I would notice a plain text tattoo at the wrist or neck of an unconscious person. I think that would be an ok idea.

As for DNR tattoos, no I wouldn't follow them, but it would make me look for the proper paperwork.
 

fast65

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If I found him unconscious, I'd probably think he's an EMT...

I would have been under the same impression if his friend hadn't told us he was diabetic.


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mycrofft

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If I followed a tattoo it could be the equivalent of a DNR.

:ph34r: !!

"Your Honor, I was looking at this tattoo...".
 
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