The Importance Of Medical ID Badges – Why You Should Wear One

The Importance of having an Emergency Medical ID

Nobody wants to suffer from injuries and diseases, but sometimes they are inevitable parts of life. Even the most health-conscious person you know is never free from risk of medical conditions. Some conditions are recurrent and it requires continuous treatments to manage the symptoms. For example, a person with diabetes or asthma may not fully recover from the condition, but there are treatments to help manage the condition. As long as the person is taking proper medications, the diseases should not bring difficulties to everyday activities. However, there is always a possibility that the person forgets to take the prescribed drugs or simply not in the position to receive treatments.

There are unexpected events even during perfectly planned day for example getting stuck in the middle of nowhere due to a broken down car, eating certain foods which contain allergens, natural disasters, traffic jam, etc. Patients of mental disorders also often have difficulties remembering the name of medications they should take, proper dosages, and all other parameters required for healthcare practitioners to provide the right treatment. Some conditions can put patients to life-threatening situations if not immediately treated, and this is why an emergency medical ID is necessary.

Your Medical Identification Card Requirements

In simple words, an emergency medical ID is just like any other form identification card but it specifically contains information about the wearer’s medical conditions or medication allergies. Medical identification cards can also include emergency contacts, food allergies, current prescribed drugs, and blood type. Some IDs are in the form of jewelry such as a bracelet or can worn around the neck like a military style dog tags, with all the necessary information engraved on the materials used. It can be in the form of card as well; this is probably the best in terms of readability. Emergency personnel like EMT’s are trained to look for medical identification cards. If you become unconscious, they can provide valuable lifesaving information.

The main purpose of medical ID is to act as a basic source of medical-related information in case of emergency. In such situation, readability is more important than anything else; anybody of the first-responder team does not care if the information is engraved on a shiny piece of metal or on a fancy-colored silicone. The most important thing is that the identification is clear, concise, and readable. For this reason, it is important to consider the style of identification and the material it is made of. High quality custom emergency ID cards are made from high grade PVC and printed in ink that doesn’t fade easily. They usually will have a special coating that will help prevent wear.

In another scenario, a first-responder may not onsite yet when a patient collapses. During a situation where a patient requires immediate medical assistance, the first to provide help is most likely another person within close proximity. The best things this person can do are to call for emergency help and explain the situation as clearly as possible. One of the first items to look for is emergency medical ID. Jewelry can get overlooked, but an identification card is hard to miss, especially when worn in the right place for example as part of tag necklace. Emergency responder can even instruct the caller to provide first-aid, but it is only possible when responder knows the specifics of patient’s pre-existing medical conditions.

Another thing to consider is that a medical ID card has more space to contain a lot more information than a small bracelet. Written descriptions on a piece of paper with contrasting color also help improve readability to a great extent.

Who Should Wear Medical ID?

The short answer is anyone who has chronic medical condition. Some diseases which may require patients to wear emergency ID card include:


  • Allergies (food, drugs, animals, etc.)
  • Hypertension
  • Pulmonary conditions such as asthma
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Breathing disorder
  • Blood disorder
  • Memory impairment
  • Stroke risk
  • Mental disorder

Children with special needs or participants of clinical trials also need to wear medical ID.

Do Emergency First Responders Check for Medical ID?

Paramedics do check for medical ID. In fact, it is part of the practical exam before they get certification. It is worth mentioning that most paramedics will check the pulse before they do anything else, so wearing a medical ID bracelet increases the chance of them finding the information. Referring back to the aforementioned issue with readability, bracelet is easy to find but readability is often poor. Tag necklace comprised of lanyard and card is also good idea since this will be easily noticeable. Another good option is to wear the ID card on a belt clip.

Custom ID

In case one of your family members suffers from medical conditions which require emergency medical ID, you can even make a custom card based on existing templates. Please understand that this card does not have to be fancy-looking; your main concern should be on readability and completeness of information.

A custom medical ID card can list information on both sides, so there should be enough space to include everything that matters including but not limited to current drugs in use, emergency contact, pre-existing conditions, as well as basic info such as name, photograph, and address.


 If you decide to use a card rather than an engraved metal bracelet or dog tag, make sure the card is well-protected by water-resistant cover and made of high grade PVC. An emergency ID card put inside a lamination cover made of clear material is good idea. Some ID card and badge holders also features holes so you can easily attach it to lanyard. A hole can be made in the ID card so that you can attach the lanyard through the holder and card for a more secure connection.


Keep in mind that emergency medical ID cards are an important personal item and should be used at all times by people with medical conditions or any condition that a first responder should be aware of. Additionally, the ID card must contain concise information so first responders can provide proper treatment in case of emergency. Finally, be sure that you secure your ID card to yourself with use of a strong lanyard and attach it to the ID card and pouch to prevent it from being lost in an accident.

Create your own custom emergency id card at