Both of these life-saving devices have their benefits and drawbacks. Let's take a deeper look!
What is a Medical Alert Bracelet?
Worn similarly to a piece of jewelry, these bracelets or wristbands are usually metal or silicone and are worn on your wrist at all times. The bracelet will prominently display the star of life, a symbol that alerts medical professionals that the bracelet contains important health information. Alongside this symbol will appear a phrase or two about the wearer's medical conditions or allergies, usually critical conditions like diabetes or asthma. This tiny piece of information can ensure the correct treatment is applied as quickly as possible if the person is found unconscious or incapacitated.
What is an Emergency Card?
An emergency card is similar to a medical bracelet, but it's credit card-sized with more space to display critical medical information, and it stays in your wallet instead of on your wrist. An emergency card will often contain the owner's most serious conditions, allergies, active medications, and emergency contacts. Modern emergency cards may also contain a QR code that can be scanned for information that cannot fit on a small paper card or that updates frequently such as active medications.
Which is better?
Medical Alert Bracelets are better for:
- People with just one major medical issue or allergy
- Fastest possible medical care, since it's always visible on your wrist
Emergency Cards are better for:
- People with multiple conditions, medications, or allergies that can't fit on a bracelet
- Comprehensive medical care with the fewest mistakes
- People who can't or prefer not to wear a bracelet
- Medical info that changes often such as new medications
You don't have to choose one or the other though. If you have one critical medical condition, you are likely to benefit from having something immediately visible on your body like a bracelet or necklace. Keeping an emergency card in your wallet or purse will provide further detail that might also save your life, such as by avoiding medication allergies or deadly combinations of meds.
You can print your own emergency card for free by simply typing out your medical information, but there are several advantages to using a modern emergency card that updates automatically. All full Guava accounts come with a free Guava Emergency Card, which has some benefits beyond what basic medical bracelets and cards provide:
- No need to laboriously re-write your card every few weeks when your meds or conditions change, Guava updates automatically
- No need to write down your information at all, Guava automatically picks the important data from your medical record and lets you customize it
- Doesn't rip, crinkle, or get damaged by water in your wallet, meaning the information stays visible
- No critical information is left out since there's no limit to how much your card can share with emergency medical staff