by ROAD iD Staff January 11, 2021

 Source: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Medical alert bracelets are one of the best ways for people living with medical conditions and allergies to stay safe while on the go. In the event of a fall, accident or medical emergency, strangers can consult your bracelet to learn your personal information, from your name to the medication you’re on. 

Stretch Medical ID

Stretch Medical ID

But there is only so much space available for engraving a medical bracelet. With limited space, abbreviations come into serious assistance. But what are the most common and helpful abbreviations for medical alert bracelets? 

Medical Conditions 

People living with medical conditions should list their conditions on their alert bracelet. Whether it’s a diabetes or Alzheimer's ID bracelet, having your condition listed could potentially save your life. A medical professional will be able to act accordingly once they see your medical ailments, knowing what treatments to avoid and which to focus on. 

The following are useful abbreviations for people living with medical conditions:  

Alzheimer's disease: ALZ

Aortic valve replacement: AVR

Arteriosclerotic heart disease: AHD

Atrial Fibrillation: A-Fib

Automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator: AICD

Autism Spectrum Disorder: ASD 

Bipolar Affective Disorder: BPAD

Blood Pressure: BP

Borderline personality disorder: BPD

Crohn's disease: CD

Cerebral Palsy: CP

Cancer: CA

Chronic kidney disease: CKD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD

Chronic obstructive lung disease: COLD

Chronic obstructive airways disease: COAD

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: CAH

Congestive heart failure: CHF

Coronary artery disease: CAD

Coronary heart disease: CHD

Cystic fibrosis: CF

Deep vein thrombosis: DVT

Diabetic ketoacidosis: DKA

Diabetes mellitus: DM

Down syndrome: DS

Difficulty of breathing: DOB

Fibromyalgia syndrome: FMS

Hypertension: HTN

Hepatitis A virus: HAV

Hepatitis B virus: HBV

Hepatitis C virus: HCV

Human immunodeficiency virus: HIV

Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: IDDM

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: ITP

Mitral stenosis; multiple sclerosis: MS

Mitral valve prolapse: MVP

Small airways disease: SAD

Schizophrenia: SCZ

Ulcerative colitis: UC

Allergies

Allergy bracelets are an important accessory for anyone who lives with serious allergies. Common abbreviations for allergies include writing “NO” or “ALGY” before whatever you’re allergic to. It being written out is imperative, as it will let a bystander or medical professional understand: a) what you can’t take; or b) what you may have come into contact with, hinting that you had an allergic reaction. 

Abbreviations/words (preceded by NO or ALGY) can include: 

PCN (Penicillin)

MORPHINE

OPIOIDS

SHELLFISH

BEES

NUTS

INSECT STINGS

LATEX

Medications

It’s equally important to list what medications you are on. Why? In one part, it can allow a medical professional to know what medical ailments you might have; otherwise, it could inform a physician or doctor that your medical emergency could be due to serious side effects. For example, people prescribed Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), a drug that prevents blood clots, can result in serious side effects. 

The following medications are ones that are important to list: 

Acetaminophen: APAP

Antibiotic: ATB

Aspirin: ASA

​Cephalosporin: CEPH

Codeine: COD

Corticosteroids: CS

Doxycycline: DOXY

Epinephrine: EPI

Auto-injector epinephrine pen: EPIPEN

Erythromycin ethylsuccinate: EES

Hydrocortisone: HC

Non-steroidal: NSAID

Nitroglycerin: NTG

Phenobarbital: PB

Penicillin: PCN

Tetracycline: TCN

Triamcinolone: TAC

taking medication pill organizer

Source: adriaticfoto/Shutterstock

Treatment, Resuscitation, Etc. 

For some individuals, they should make it apparent what types of treatment and resuscitation methods they can, cannot and do not want to undergo. These decisions can be due to medical conditions, religious beliefs or personal preference. They include:

No contrast dye: NO CT

Nothing by mouth: NPO

NO MRI

No chest x-rays: NO CXR

Basic life support okay: BLS

Do not intubate: DNI

Do not resuscitate: DNR

Don't hospitalize: DNH

Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation: DNACPR


You can also help a medical professional by making them aware of any serious medical treatments you have had done, including: 

Intrauterine device in place: IUD

Bilateral total knee replacement: BTKR

Total hip replacement: THR

Total knee replacement: TKR

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery: CABG

What Should Be Prominent on Your Medical Alert Bracelet?

Your medical alert bracelet should feature your most important information, things that identify you and can help a medical professional treat you if you are unconscious or cannot speak. These include:

  • Your full name
  • Your emergency contact information
  • Medical conditions
  • What you’re allergic to
  • Medications you’re on

    It’s important you use abbreviations on your bracelet, too, especially if you have a lot to list. 

    Unsure of what to have engraved? Talk to your primary care physician to know what your most pertinent medical information is. With that, you can effectively engrave your medical alert bracelet, allowing you to carry your medical information with you wherever you go. 

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