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  • Med IDs

    [Med IDs]

    Author: Marv Waschke (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 09-01-02 13:03

    I am 52 and was diagnosed with HCM about a year ago. I could not walk a block without chest pain and shortness of breath. I am much better now-- verapamil, a shelty puppy to walk twice a day, and losing 90 lbs, have left me feeling better than I have in many years. I have even begun to commute to work by bicycle. I had a stress echocardiogram last week and my cardiologist said my general heart health has improved greatly, but the HCM is about the same, which I understand is also good.

    Here is my question: my wife would like me to wear a medical id with my condition, but I am unsure what should be on it. I have noticed that medical personel typically don't know what HCM is. For example, when I was being prepped for an angiogram last fall, the nurses asked me what HCM is. If they did not know, what are the odds that an EMT will know? So what should an id have on it?

    Thanks, Marv Waschke

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Sue (---.howard01.md.comcast.net)

    Date: 09-01-02 13:45

    To add to this question, I have an ICD for similar problem (but cannot say I'm improving). What should mine say?

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Reenie Smith (---.snbrca.adelphia.net)

    Date: 09-01-02 14:08

    Well, my husband has HCM and an ICD. His MedicAlert bracelet says "pacer, cardioverter, defibrillator, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, no MRI." On file at the MedicAlert office they have his medication, dr, etc available right away. The no MRI thing is with an ICD only. MRI's are huge magnets and there are 2 things that can happen. First, magnets are known to interfere with ICD's functions. Secondly, the doctor told my husband that an MRI could literally pull the ICD out of his chest magnetically. I have no idea if this is true or not, but the thought of it was enough for us to make sure his bracelet said that specifically. I think it is safe to say that most of us on this board have met medical personnel who don't know much if anything about HCM. You aren't alone there. Good luck with your decision.

    Reenie

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Patricia wonderly (---.158.81.13.Dial1.Buffalo1.Level3.net)

    Date: 09-01-02 20:57

    Marv:

    I have a medic alert bracelet that spells it out..hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, defibrillator(if you have one).

    I know what you mean when the genreral medical population doesn't know HCM.

    I had an angiogram 2 weeks ago and the nurse filling out my pre-op form asked me "What is HCM?"

    MY best advice is to SPELL IT OUT!

    Good Health To You,

    Tricia

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 09-01-02 23:03

    Hi

    If you go to medicalert.org you can call them. They can help you figure out what the bracelet should say --they have nurses and doctors on staff.

    It is VERY true that the MRI would at least try, if not succed (which it probably could) to pull the ICD or pacemaker out of your chest.

    I personally recommend that people get a MedicAlert and not just some bracelet from the drugstore that just has your phone number and condition on it. MedicAlert bracelets have room for a lot of info and a phone number to call to get your medical records, the name of your doctor and your emergency contact information too. You can update the info as often as you need to and your bracelet doesn't have to be replaced every time.

    MIne says: atrial fibrillation, on warfarin, dofetilide use, drug precautions, no epi, morphine, caines. (dofetilide interacts with seemingly everything and morphine puts my heart rate in the dumper.)

    Yours should say "Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and on verapamil" and list any other drugs you are on if you have room. If the EMTs think you are having a heart attack, they need to know what heart medications are in your system so they don't give you something that does "go" with what you already take.

    The MedicAlert told me that anyone who can't have penicillin, morphine, epinephrine, iodine, and a couple other things I forget (sorry) should all have medicalerts.

    My aunt was asking an EMT friend of hers if she should get bracelet or necklace and they said bracelet b/c they know to look there and are less likely to miss it. While MedicAlert also makes all gold and all silver tags with fancy chains, the EMT also recommended getting the standard surgical steel with red enamel as it is easier to notice. However, mine is silver/gold two tone and I made myself a beaded bracelet to replace the nasty chain (I'll take special orders for anyone wanting a custom beaded bracelet or chain, by the way, just e-mail me). If I had an ICD or a pacemaker, I would probably switch back to the steel and red, but keep the beaded bracelet.

    "More than you ever wanted to know about MedicAlerts" has been brought to you by Sarah The Sleepy One

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 09-02-02 13:13

    Well Sarah has given some great advise here... I will add just a few thoughts.

    I agree with the bracelet vs. necklace.. I have been taken to the ER more than a few times and each time I am flat on my back when help arrives...my necklace falls to the back but my wrist is needed for pulse and such...So I say go with the bracelet.

    What it says...be clear and simple...HCM may not be enough information for some - I have - HEART CONDITION (keeping it very simple) Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (a little more detail) - No nitro - Pacer/ICD - see med card in wallet

    I have a card in my wallet with all my med infor..including my drs names (including specialists) and family contact numbers - As meds can change from time to time and I was tired of having new bracelets made up each time I change.

    I also have designed my own bracelet...with heart links...

    Yes MRI's are not an option for those with a device..yes it can be pulled from your body...but you need to be really close to it so do not panic if you walk by the MRI room at your hospital.

    Best to all!

    Lisa

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: PaT (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 09-02-02 22:28

    I getting a Medic Alert bracelet and putting on it “see watch“. The watch is from CADEX Products. It has a place to put in all your med and can be set up to beep when its time to take each one. There is also a place to put all of your contact numbers, what you have, and what allergies you have. Cost is around $55. 00. Not only does it provide all the information needed but it tells time too. Phone for watch information is 208-726-1515.

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 09-03-02 23:21

    Dear Pat

    Wow. That is pretty clever. However, I would recommend _adding_ "see watch" to an informative MedicAlert as a precaution (for example, I would not want to wear that watch to a fancy dress up party, but I never take off my MedicAlert. It is pretty easy to forget to put on a watch but harder to remember to take something off --if you know what I mean.)

    The web site is http://cadexproducts.com/

    Sarah

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Matt (---.disney.com)

    Date: 09-13-02 20:01

    FYI:

    I found the Cadex watch for $37.95 ($44.90 total with shipping) at www.Healthcare21.com. I also received it 2 days after ordering it!

    and Sarah, You're right... it wouldn't go so well with a tux.

    Matt

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    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Sarah B.-Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 09-13-02 22:07

    Matt

    You have a lot of formal events at Disney? ; )

    S

    ps do you like the watch otherwise? Is it worth it?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Med IDs]

    Author: Matt (---.disney.com)

    Date: 09-14-02 23:33

    Sarah,

    I wish I had the energy for formal events. No, nothing formal at Disney... we're just a mickey mouse company

    I am happy with the watch. After about 1/2 hour of entering all the data, it's very easy to scroll through it all and it holds quite a bit (a lot more than a bracelet or necklace). You can even set individual alarms for your medications if you take them at different times and it can cut through handcuffs and it is a global positioning satellite receiver Just call me "Bond... James Bond".

    Of course it doesn't do the last two... does anyone know anything about getting out of handcuffs?

    But it does tell the time too!!!

    Matt
    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.

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