Why an Allergy Bracelet?
Story by Michelle Wexler
A medical ID bracelet tells first responders, or someone nearby, to make swift decisions necessary to prevent an allergic reaction from becoming life threatening. Having an epipen and having it listed on your ID tag may save your life. See Beginners Guide
Include All Critical Information:
For more help, see Abbreviations.
Missing diagnoses and bad detail on an ID tag can be deadly. So why put your life on the line in a medical emergency by not including life-threatening drug interactions, allergies, cardiovasculars disease or diabetes? What good does it do to put responders in the dark?
Because there are many causes for severe allergic reactions—informing emergency responders of specific allergens is critical. If you have an allergy to any processed foods, it’s highly recommended to have a medical ID (NIAID, 2016). Allergies to drugs used in emergency situations can also pose a threat. That's why paramedics need to know what meds you're taking.
Symptoms to look out for are: swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat, wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014) It is imperative that they treat for the correct allergen, in the proper way
Gambling on wallet cards or smartphones can lead to trouble in an accident because they can be lost, overlooked and phones can be broken.
Relying on emergency phone numbers is useless because paramedics are too busy saving your life and have no time for conversations.
Common Allergic Triggers
Food: In the United States, 5 percent of children and 4 percent of adults possess food allergies and more people are being diagnosed each year. By 2007, the number of people diagnosed per year with a food allergy had risen 18% from what it was ten years prior, and that percentage is expected to keep rising. The most common food allergy in the country is to peanuts, followed by tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, and milk otherwise known as “the big eight”.
Medication: The last thing that one expects to happen in an emergency is to get worse with treatment—which is precisely what happens to individuals with certain medication allergies. An individual can become allergic to a drug if they are exposed just once and the body becomes sensitive to it. This starts the creation of antibodies that will attack the body when it is exposed to the drug again in the future. Researchers have found that even trace amounts of drugs (e.g. antibiotics) in the food supply are enough to trigger the initial negative immune reaction, subsequently causing antibodies to form. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014).
An Allergy Bracelet can save your life when every second counts
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1. Nut Allergies
2. Antibiotic Allergies
3. Medication Allergies
Other reactions to NSAIDs can result in hives or in rare instances, severe reactions can result in shock.
4. Opioid Allergies
When a true allergy to opiate is determined, then an opioid in a different chemical class from the one to which the patient reacted may be used with close monitoring.
What are Allergies?
5. Insect Sting Allergies
6. Food Allergies
Sesame seed allergies are increasing quickly in America over the last 10 to 20 years. If you’re allergic to tree nuts, you could be allergic to sesame seeds. “Now clearly one of the six or seven most common food allergens” (Johns Hopkins).
7. Latex Allergies
8. Iodine allergies
Hypersensitivity to iodine may not make you allergic to it because iodine is not normally considered an allergen. That’s because iodine is an essential element for the body, and it aids production of thyroid hormones. A lack of iodine leads to the formation of a goiter, and can cause hypothyroidism.
On the rise are medical uses of iodine, especially in radiocontrast agents for improving X-ray and CT scans. More reactions have occurred in recent years which have caused deaths.
Exposure to iodine can cause reactions in hypersensitive individuals such as hives, rash and life-threatening anaphylaxis which requires immediate medical attention in the form of a shot of adrenaline.
Common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, heart palpitations, confusion, breathing problems, nausea and rapid pulse.
Reactive causes include some solutions and foods: Tincture of iodine may cause rashes in hypersensitive people. Radiocontrast contrast iodine given intravenously is known to be responsible for severe reactions including deaths. Foods containing iodine are fish, dairy, and soy.
Shellfish is not linked to iodine allergy as shown by research. Instead, parvalbumins proteins in fish and tropomyosins proteins in shellfish cause these allergies. However, since some rare cases have linked shellfish allergy to contrast dye reactions, it's better to be cautious.