The Star of Life that May Save Your Life in an Emergency
Do you have asthma? Diabetes? Epilepsy? Memory issues? Any potentially life-threatening disease/condition?
Are you on prescription, non-prescription, or homeopathic medication or treatments?
Help rescuers help you in an emergency and perhaps avert or minimize a disastrous situation by wearing a medical alert ID at all times—and then keeping your wallet medical alert card up-to-date at all times, especially with medication changes. (See the template below for a medical alert card, one blank, one with instructions.)
Why You Should Wear a Medical Bracelet
Medical alert ID bracelets and necklaces typically consist of a stainless steel tag displaying the blue Star-of-Life symbol, which is internationally recognized by emergency response personnel. To be precise, they have been trained to look for the blue Star-of-Life ID plate on each person’s wrist, though many people wear it on a necklace, and many people wear it in red or some other color rather than the specified blue. On the back side of this tag you should, at a minimum, engrave, in heavy letters and as large as possible, your full first and last name and “See wallet card”, though most emergency responders will automatically look for that for anyone wearing a medical alert ID, whether engraved or not.
About the "Star-of-Life" Emblem
The emblem displayed on the medical alert bracelet is a representation of what first-responders should do when they come across someone wearing this symbol.
Many people (I was one of them) believe that the Star-of-Life is supposed to be red. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and internationally recognize that the official color for the emblem is blue.
According to Wikipedia
"The Star of Life is a blue, six-pointed star, outlined with a white border which features the rod of Asclepius in the center, originally designed and governed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (under the United States Department of Transportation, DOT). Traditionally in the United States the logo was used as a stamp of authentication or certification for ambulances, paramedics or other EMS personnel. Internationally, it represents emergency medical services (EMS) units and personnel." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_Life as retrieved 2/12/2012 at 2:52 p.m.
Medical Alert Bracelet
It's a small price to pay
You don't need to spend a fortune on a fancy medic alert ID bracelet--in fact, the more complex the bracelet is the less likely EMTs or other first-responders will recognize it. This is not supposed to be jewelry to look pretty in, it's purpose is to save your life some day if necessary. Buying and wearing a bracelet that might save your life and keeping your medic alert card up-to-date are the least you can do to help yourself stay safe. Your family members and other loved ones will thank you for it, too.
Regarding USB Medical Alert IDs
Some companies are selling tiny USB drive medical alert IDs designed to carry all of your medical information. This is a great idea, but only in ADDITION to a wallet card, which can be accessed at any time or place by anyone, unlike a USB drive that requires the use of a computer. You should make your most critical information available on your medical alert card, and you may want to carry more than one card (luggage tag, brief case, desk drawer at work, and so on) to make it easier for emergency responders to find quickly. Also, personnel can quickly photocopy a paper medical alert ID, but not a USB.
So, How Do You Make A Good Medical Alert Card for Yourself?
I can email you a Microsoft Word Template for FREE--just email me and be patient for a few days (I don't check that account daily).
Here are my criteria for developing my template--hopefully this is helpful to you.
- Make sure it’s all on one side of one page, so that medical personnel can photocopy it easily and so that they won’t miss any information on the back side of the card.
- Make sure it can be cut and folded down to the size of a business card or slightly smaller.
- If your wallet has a front display “window” for your driver’s license, use that display window instead for your medical alert card.
- Use easy-to-read fonts, such as Arial or Tahoma, NOT Times, comic sans, or Century Schoolbook.
- No photos or graphics or cute things—this card is what your life might literally depend upon. It’s no joke and you don’t want any emergency responders to think it is, either.
- If you use a service dog, be sure to mention that on your card also: “Please locate my service dog [name], a [color of dog] [breed of dog]. Be sure to keep him/her with me at all times, per the ADA.”
Below is a template you may use to customize your own medical alert card (just delete or replace everything that is highlighted with your own information). I would be happy to email you the Microsoft Word template for this. If you would like a copy, please send me an email and give me a few days to respond.
~ May you never have an emergency need to use this card. ~
(Template with Example Text in Yellow)
Blank template to fill in per yellow example text above then shrink-photocopy; type if possible
Copyright © 2013 Laura D. Schneider. For personal/family use only. All other rights reserved.
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Joey on September 07, 2015:
Can u send me your email address? I don't see it any where on here and I would like for u to mail me the medical alert card. Or if anyone else can help me locating her email? Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!
Laura Schneider (author) from Minnesota, USA on January 18, 2014:
I think, right or wrong, the color red vs. blue is less important than making sure you're wearing the symbol if it applies to you—the medical emergency responders will be able to figure it out (hopefully LOL).
Glad I could teach you something new today! Cheers!
Robin on January 18, 2014:
Thank you Laura, I too thought that Medical Alert pendants were commonly red in lieu of blue. You earn something every day!
Laura Schneider (author) from Minnesota, USA on March 04, 2012:
Good thinking! It's also especially good for older people, people with limited speech capability, and those who may be unconscious at the time EMTs arrive.
Melis Ann from Mom On A Health Hunt on February 29, 2012:
I've put this on my to-do list. Great idea for kids with medical conditions.