Frequent Questions

About Medical IDs

What is a medical ID?

A medical ID provides information that could save your life in an emergency. With medical conditions, drug and food allergies, prescribed medicines and emergency contacts engraved onto its surface, a medical ID bracelet or necklace guides paramedics and doctors in giving you appropriate, timely treatment when you can not speak for yourself.

Who should wear a medical ID?

People with certain conditions ought to wear medical IDs to alert medical professionals in an emergency. The following are good reasons to wear a medical ID:

  • Food, drug and insect allergies
  • Heart problems
  • Asthma, COPD
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes
  • Blood disorders
  • Alzheimer's disease, memory problems
  • Breathing disorders
  • Rare diseases
  • Epilepsy/seizure disorders
  • Hearing, visual or mental impairments
  • Transplant surgery
  • Clinical trial participation
  • Autism
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Stroke risk
  • Multiple medicines

Some people also order medical IDs engraved with their blood types, access codes for Online Medical Registry, and contact information.

Do emergency medical responders even look for a medical ID?

We recently surveyed emergency medical professionals, including EMTs and paramedics, in the U.S. The survey found that:

  • More that 95 percent of repondents look for a medical ID during emergencies.
  • More that 75 percent look for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient.
  • 95 percent look at the patient's wrist to find a medical ID and 68 percent look for an ID on the patient's neck.

Who recommends a medical ID?

Doctors and healthcare organizations throughout the world recommend medical IDs.

  • Alzheimer's Association
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Columbia University Medical Center
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Mayo Clinic
  • National Institutes of Health
  • The Merck Manual
  • The National Association of EMS Educators
  • World Health Organization

When should I wear my medical ID?

You should always wear your medical ID. If you take it off, it can't help you in an unexpected emergency.

What are the benefits of wearing a medical ID?

In an emergency, when you might be unable to speak for yourself, a medical ID bracelet or necklace protects you by speaking for you. Lack of information can be dangerous.

  • Symptoms of common ailments can be misdiagnosed easily.
  • Prompt diagnosis critical to effective treatment may be delayed.
  • Half of all medical errors occur because of mistakes made upon admission to or discharge from the hospital according to a study conducted in the US.

More than 95 percent of emergency medical responders look for a medical ID; more than 75 percent check for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient. If you are wearing medical alert jewelry it won't be missed.

Medical IDs are not just for emergencies. They can forestall problems eliminating trips to hospital, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and preventing minor emergencies from becoming major ones. Medical IDs save time and trouble as well as lives!

Engraving a Medical ID

What medical conditions should appear on a medical ID?

Below are examples of medical conditions that warrant wearing a medical ID.

  • Abnormal ECG/EKG
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Alchoholism
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Angina
  • Asthma
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Cataracts
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes (insulin dependent)
  • Diabetes (non-insulin dependent)
  • Emphysema
  • Glaucoma
  • Hearing impairment
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Hypertension
  • Laryngectomy
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus
  • Lymphoma
  • Malignant hyperthermia
  • Mental retardation
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pacemaker or ICD implant
  • Renal failure
  • Seizure disorder
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Situs inversus
  • Stroke
  • Visual impairment

Should medicines be listed on my medical ID?

As a rule and if space permits it is wise to list prescription medicines taken on a long-term or maintenance basis. This will give medical personnel better guidance for initiating treatment and will lessen the chance of a drug interaction.

Some classes of medicines that are appropriate for an ID are:

  • Analgesics: including many narcotics
  • Cardiac medicines: including ones for angina or atrial fibrillation
  • Anticoagulants: Blood Thinners
  • Anticonvulsants: for seizure disorders (Epilepsy)
  • Antihistamines, Decongestants: prescription or over-the-counter medicines for allergies
  • Antihypertensives: blood pressure medicines
  • Beta Blockers: drugs that can slow the heart rate
  • Chemotherapy agents: medicines for treating cancer or serious infectious diseases
  • Steroids

Should I list allergies on my medical ID?

Yes. Allergic reactions to drugs, foods and insects can cause serious medical problems. A medical ID informs medics of an allergy, allowing for rapid response to a serious allergic reaction.

Allergens are numerous. Some common examples include:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Analgesics: aspirin
  • Antibiotics: cephalosporins, erythromycins
  • Narcotics
  • Foods: nuts, wheat, dairy products, soy
  • Other: horse serum, insect stings, latex, x-ray dye

What other information can be placed on my medical ID?

With space permitting, anything can be engraved on your medical ID,including:

  • Advance directive
  • Living will
  • DNR
  • Blood type
  • Contact lenses
  • Difficult intubation
  • Emergency contacts (next of kin, doctor, etc.)
  • Faith
  • Implant (e.g., pacemaker)
  • Organ donor
  • Transplanted organ
  • Stent
  • See wallet card

I'm not sure how my medical ID should be engraved. What do I do?

  • List only medical conditions that should be known in an emergency. For example, a minor surgery that took place several years ago may no longer be relevant to your medical care.
  • Each medical ID style allows a different amount of information to be engraved. If you know you will need a lot of information engraved, select a style that can accommodate this, such as our two-sided IDs. You can also engrave "See wallet card" and list more information there than can fit on your ID. You should list frequently changing medicines only on a wallet card.
  • Summarize your information with short, descriptive words. Any information that will not fit on your medical ID bracelet or necklace can be written on a wallet or handbag ID card.
  • Only medicines taken on a long-term basis should be engraved on a medical ID. You may wish to list the most important medicines first.

If you need help deciding what to engrave, ask your doctor or pharmacist, or you can call Customer Service at 1.800.616.3400.

If you're not sure what to engrave, ask your doctor. If you need help phrasing a medical condition so that it will fit on your medical ID and still be recognized by emergency personnel, please call Customer Service at 1.800.616.3400 and we will assist you.

Must I put my name on my medical ID?

Engraving your name on your medical ID is a matter of personal preference. However, listing at least a first name is recommended. In an emergency, EMRs and doctors will say a person's name in an effort to get his or her attention if the person is, for example, in a daze, a diabetic coma or unconscious.

We recommend that medical alert jewelry engraved for an Alzheimer's patient include his or her name and address or the address of a caregiver or family member.

Ordering a Medical ID

How do I order?

Online: Identify the item you wish to purchase. You will then be asked to tell us what you would like engraved on your medical ID. Finally, you will give payment and delivery information. Online purchases can be paid with a credit card.

FAX: If you prefer, you can print an order form here. Select the form that features the item you wish to purchase. Complete the item selection box, engraving information, delivery instructions and payment information. Payment can be made with a credit card. Fax your order form to us at 1.866.287.7434.

Post: Print an order form here. Select the form that features the item you wish to purchase. Complete the item selection box,engraving information, delivery instructions and payment information. Payment can be made with a personal cheque, postal order or credit card. Post your completed form to:

Universal Medical ID
P.O. Box 230 Stn A
Etobicoke, ON M9C 4V3

Telephone: Call our toll-free number, 1.800.616.3400, and place your order with one of our Customer Service assistants. Phone orders require payment with a credit card.

How long will it take to get my medical ID?

Your medical ID is handled gently by many of our staff to ensure correct engraving. Typically, we process orders within 2-3 weeks from the time you order. If you need your medical ID sooner, you may choose Rush processing. In that case, your medical ID will be made and posted as quickly as the next business day via the delivery means you choose.

How do I build my medical ID?

Visit our Build Your Medical ID instructional page for details.

Can I order a medical ID for a friend or family member?

Yes, but you should know exactly what ought to be engraved.

Why does Universal Medical ID need to know whether the medical ID is for a male or female?

We ask if you are male or female to determine your medical ID's plate size. The plate sizes of our bracelets differ according to gender. If you do not specify chain length in your order, we will send you the average chain length for your gender. If you would like a specific plate size, please call a Customer Service assistant at 1.800.616.3400.

How do I know what size bracelet to order?

Measure your wrist and add 0.5" to 1" to that amount.

What is the Customer Satisfaction Policy?

At Universal Medical ID we take great pride in creating personalized medical identification jewelry. From the time an order is placed, to when it arrives at your home, we want to ensure you are satisfied with your purchase. If you are not completely satisfied with your merchandise, you may return or exchange it in accordance of our Return Policy.

What is the Universal Medical ID Return Policy?

Because your medical ID is personally engraved and cannot be re-used, we cannot accept returns on personalized items. For returns on non-personalized items, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800.616.3400 to obtain a Return Authorization number.

  • Engraved items are non-returnable and non-refundable
  • USB items are non-returnable and non-refundable
  • Silicone items are non-returnable and non-refundable
  • Non-personalized items must be new and unworn
  • Shipping, handling, and processing fees are non-refundable
  • The customer is responsible for all return shipping expenses
  • All refunds for non-personalized items will be processed within 15 business days of receipt of return item(s) via the original method of payment
  • Refunds totaling $20 or under will be issued as store credit unless originating payment method was by credit card or other electronic form of payment
  • For returns or exchanges of non-personalised items, please enclose your merchandise in a padded envelope and ship insured to:

    Attn: Returns, Universal Medical ID, PO Box 230 Stn A Etobicoke, ON M9C 4V3
    Please include your Return Authorization number on the outside of the package.
    We are not responsible for damages or losses incurred during transit. For your protection, please ship insured.

    I made a mistake, can I change my order?

    Unfortunately, we cannot make any changes once you have placed your order. We begin processing your order right away. Please review order details carefully before submitting. Due to personalisation of each ID, all sales are final.

    What is the Universal Medical ID Product Warranty?

    All IDs, chains, and attachments are warranted against defects in material or workmanship for 90 days from the date of purchase. Upon receipt, please carefully inspect your purchase for errors or defects. This warranty does not cover:

  • Normal wear such as scratching, dents, or tarnishing of the ID, chain and attachments
  • Damage resulting from misuse, accidental handling, or exposure to corrosive substances
  • Loss of any kind
  • Repairs by anyone other than Universal Medical ID
  • Changes in engraving information (unless Healthcare Professional Warranty is redeemed.)
  • How can I check the status of my order?

    To check the status of your order, you can contact us via chat:

    You can also reach our Customer Service at 1.800.616.3400.

    How do I properly care for my medical ID?

    TITANIUM is hypoallergenic. To preserve your medical ID’s appearance and minimize scratching, gently clean with a non-abrasive soap or cleanser and water. Dry completely with a soft cloth. Store your titanium medical ID in a soft cloth or bag. Remove your medical ID when working with metal polishers or scrubbing soap. Heavy Physical activity may make your medical ID vulnerable to scratching. Consider wearing one of our stainless steel bracelets or necklaces while outdoors.
    STAINLESS STEEL Bracelets: Only the Curb chain is adjustable, allowing you to tailor the chain’s length to your wrist. Your medical ID bracelet should be worn firmly, yet comfortably. A firm fit will preserve the engraving. If you chose a Sister Hook clasp, it opens to a “V” by pulling its jaws out and apart. Attach the open clasp to the link to ensure the most comfortable fit on your wrist. To remove excess links, open the unneeded link with pliers by twisting open or cutting away the first unneeded link. Necklaces: If the necklace chain is too short, contact us and we will send a longer chain.
    GOLD AND GOLD-FILLED metals will tarnish when exposed to acidic skin or air. A treated polishing cloth will discourage tarnishing. When storing jewelry, do not mix gold and silver. At a minimum, separate the metals by compartments. Guard your medical ID when using household cleaners, especially those containing ammonia or chlorine. Heavy physical activity may make your medical ID vulnerable to scratching. Consider wearing one of our stainless steel bracelets or necklaces while outdoors.
    STERLING SILVER A treated polishing cloth will discourage tarnishing. When storing jewelry, do not mix gold and silver, separate the metals by compartments. Guard your medical ID when using household cleaners, especially those containing ammonia or chlorine. Heavy physical activity may make your medical ID vulnerable to scratching. Consider wearing a stainless steel medical ID bracelet or necklace while outdoors. Bracelets: Plates are rhodium coated which helps protect your medical ID from scratching. Chains are not rhodium coated. *Please note charm bracelets and the Odyssey Collection pieces are not rhodium coated, therefore may require more frequent cleaning. Necklaces: Are not rhodium coated. This includes the neck charm and chain.

    Other Questions

    Once engraved can I add information to my medical ID?

    We advise only engraving information that is unlikely to change because information on your medical ID, once engraved, cannot be removed or changed.

    May I tell Universal Medical ID how my medical ID affected my life?

    Yes. We would be delighted to hear how your medical ID has influenced your life. Please share your Life Story.

    How do I properly insert my eMedTAG USB Dog Tag or USB Dog Tag ID into my computer?

    Press in on the black lever on the side of the USB and it slide forward. While still holding the lever, insert the USB into your computer’s USB port. Once the USB device is full inserted into your computer you are ready to begin.

    What is My Interactive Health Record?

    You can think of MyIHR as an extension of an engraved medical ID or a wallet card. For example, in an emergency, your medical alert jewelry piece provides caregivers with a brief description of a few key facts.

    When you sign-up for MyIHR when purchasing a medical ID, your PIN will be engraved on your ID with clear instructions on where emergency caregivers can go to find more detailed information about your medical conditions, history, etc.

    A physician, medic or nurse may then locate your file online at www.MyIHR.com or by calling the toll-free 800 number where a medically trained operator provides live assistance. Armed with this additional knowledge they will be in a much better position to provide timely and appropriate care for you - possibly life-saving medical care!

    Universal Medical ID will never disclose or sell a customer's personal information. View our MyIHR Privacy Policy.

    Learn more about MyIHR here.

    Why does it take so long to make a medical ID?

    Our medical IDs are custom-engraved and custom-sized to reflect our customers exact requests. Considering we strive for accuracy and quality, once an order has been received and the medical ID has been engraved, the order is examined multiple times ensuring complete accuracy. The jewellery is then polished and packaged with care before it is sent to the customer.

    Should I tell my doctor that I purchased a medical ID?

    We encourage our customers to tell their doctors about having purchased a medical ID.

    When you receive your Universal Medical ID bracelet or necklace, you will find with it a Healthcare Provider Approval Card. At your next visit, show your doctor your medical ID and give him or her the Healthcare Provider Approval Card. If your doctor approves your ID's engraving, we will add a one-year engraving warranty to your account.

    If, however, your doctor thinks additional information should be engraved, we'll be happy to add that important information for a small fee. You then will have another opportunity to get your doctor's approval and get your engraving warranty.

    The customer is responsible for returning the medical ID if his or her doctor recommends changes.

    How can I get order forms?

    Sign up for our Newsletter, Health Briefs and Special Promotions.

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