VSG Patients and Medical Alert ID

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Do Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery (VSG) Patients Need to Wear a Medical Alert ID?

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by Valerie on September 14, 2010

Medical ID’s and Weight Loss Surgery

Medical Alert ID’s are jewelry (usually bracelets or necklaces) with condensed information on the wearer’s medical issues engraved on the back. The purpose of such ID’s is so that if the person is involved in an accident or becomes incapacitated in any way which renders them unable to communicate, emergency physicians will be able to quickly learn important and relevant medical information before they begin treatment.

Typically such IDs are advisable for people who take certain medications, have certain allergies, or have had certain surgeries. Many doctors and paramedics recommend that patients who have undergone bariatric surgery, such as VSG, do wear such an ID. There are three main suggestions as to what should be engraved:

  • In the first place, the words “sleeve gastrectomy” or “bariatric surgery” can alert the physician that the patient has undergone such surgery.
  • “No blind NG tube” indicates to the physician that they should use imaging if a tube needs to be inserted, which can be very important.
  • Sometimes the words “no NSAIDs” are suggested to ensures that the person will not be given unsafe doses of such medications.

Some patients will also chose to include their doctor’s name and telephone number. Medical Alert ID’s give physicians important medical information quickly in an emergency and can also help to ease a patient’s mind that they will be able to “communicate” important medical information to a doctor if they are unable to speak.

Some patients chose not to wear a medical alert ID for personal reasons. It is good to remember that most medical alert IDs feature a medical symbol on the front side with personal medical information engraved on the back. If a patient still feels uncomfortable with having part of their medical history potentially on display, or feels uncomfortable with the people asking them what their medical alert ID is for, there are other options that they might consider. These include a cell phone application marked “In Case of Emergency” or a card that can be carried in their wallet or purse indicating their medical information.

Medical IDs can be purchased online and come in a variety of styles and prices. Some are only recognizable as medical alert IDs to trained physicians and EMTs. Talk with your surgeon and doctor to see what they recommend, though ultimately it is your decision if you wish to wear one.

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