Q:

9/25/2012
I am a pediatrician, and I work with children with special needs. Many of my patients are non-verbal, with some degree of cognitive delay, in addition to their medical diagnoses. What would be the indications for guiding my patients to wear medical alert bracelets or other forms of identification for food or drug allergies? Thank you.

A:

Thank you for your inquiry.

Medic Alert jewelry or other forms of identification are indicated whenever a patient has experienced an adverse reaction to, for example, a food, drug, or insect sting. Their intent is to assist any medical personnel treating a patient after such an event by alerting them to the fact that the patient could have experienced an allergic reaction, most commonly anaphylaxis, so that proper therapy can be instituted.

In your particular case, they may also be beneficial to someone caring for these children to prevent exposure to a food or a commonly used drug such as aspirin. So, the indications are quite broad and based on clinical judgment. That is, if you feel there is a risk of exposure or risk for a threatening event, a Medic Alert bracelet would be indicated.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology