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My Identity Doctor Medical Alert Bracelet on

Medical alert bracelet & wallet card from MyIDDr

Your Portable Medical Information Kit

by Patti J. Ryan, Last updated: January 6, 2019

When you have A-Fib and you’re taking a blood thinner or other medication, you may wonder if you should carry an emergency I.D. card or wear a medical bracelet.

According to a paramedic with 25 years of experience, emergency measures to stop bleeding such as compresses, tourniquets, etc. will be used whether or not the paramedic knows one has A-Fib and is taking a blood thinner like Coumadin.

But in general it’s a great help to emergency personnel if you carry one or more forms of emergency medical ID. The author of The Patient’s Guide to Heart Rhythm Problems, Dr. Todd Cohen calls it a “portable medical information kit”.

what should be in Your emergency medical information ‘Kit’

This is an excerpt from Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (page 20).


In his book, The Patient’s Guide to Heart Rhythm Problems, Dr. Todd Cohen recommends carrying a “portable medical information kit” with the following information:

1. Full name and date of birth

2. Medical conditions

3. Implantable devices and materials

4. Allergies

5. Medications (and dosages)

6. A copy of a recent ECG

7. Contact information (family, your doctor, and your Health Care Proxy agent)

Type up the information, print, and trim; add a copy of your most recent ECG, then fold to fit your wallet or purse. Add a label, “In Case of Emergency” (ICE).

Print a free Medical Alert I.D. Wallet Card

To help you make your medical ID, we have three Free online sources for printing your own wallet cards (updated 1-14-18).

Printable Emergency Medical ID Card (in PDF format) from
• Print Your Own Emergency Medical I.D. Card from
• Emergency Contact Card (in PDF format) from American Red Cross

Use the PDF form online to enter your information. Then, print, trim, fold and add to your wallet or purse. Or print the blank form and fill-in by hand).

Tips to consider:

• Laminate your wallet card to prolong its use (an office supply store can help you)
• Print a card for each member of your family
• If you choose a medic alert bracelet with limited space, add the message “See wallet card,” and carry a wallet card with all your medical details.

 Additional Ways to Carry Your Medical Information

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

There are many styles of Medic Alert IDs bracelets and necklace pendants using different materials like waterproof foam, leather and stainless steel. Don’t carry a wallet? Consider a Money clip with compartment to slide in your emergency contact info.

Or, if you carry a paper-based day planner or calendar, add the same information to your address book.

Cell phone directory ICE entry at

Cell phone ICE entry

Here are more ways to carry your medical contact information:

Cell phone: Emergency personnel often look at your cell phone contacts list for an ‘ICE’ contact, that is, an In Case of Emergency entry. It’s easy to do. Add a contact named ‘ICE’ and enter your emergency contact’s name, phone numbers, email address, etc. In the notes field, you can add your vital medical information.

For the jogger or walker: A shoe tag or pocket with your emergency contact info can be attached to your laces. For cyclists and others who wear head gear, a Medical ID sticker can be attached to your helment.

Shoe pocket by Vital ID

Shoe pocket by Vital ID

Helmet sticker by Vital ID

Helmet sticker by Vital ID

High tech solutions: Flash Drives are one high tech solution to carry all your medical information. The specially labeled USB flash drive has a large storage capacity which means you can carry much more information than the conventional medical ID bracelet. Variations include bracelets, keychain fobs and pendants.

USB bracelet from Medical Alert Drives

USB bracelet from Medical Alert Drives

USB key from Stat Alert

USB key from Stat Alert

USB credit card-size by ER Card

Credit card-size USB by ER Card

QR code tag by Dynatag

QR code tag by Dynatag

The one product that caught my eye is the credit card-sized USB for your wallet. As seen on the daytime show, The Doctors, the tiny, slim USB bends out of the credit card frame and is inserted into your USB port. From there you add whatever documents you want. (Why not create a medical record page for each member of the family?) See The Doctors video clip:

Another type of medic identification alert is QR code-based medical alert stickers. The QR code is added to a wallet card, pendant or keychain fob. To access the information, a smartphone scans the QR code then links to a web service with the individual’s emergency information.

Remember to Update Your ‘Kit’

Whichever methods you use to carry your emergency medical information, don’t forget to review and update the contents regularly especially when you change doctors, start (or stop) medications or have a medical procedure. Knowing you have up-to-date medical information gives you a little bit more peace of mind.

Patti J Ryan head shot

Patti J. Ryan

Patti J. Ryan of A-Fib, Inc., supports all aspects of and often monitors Steve Ryan’s new articles—ever watchful of too much medical jargon and when necessary translates the terminology into everyday language. She is also publisher of Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (, an Top 100 Seller.

References for this article
The phrase “portable medical information kit” is from Dr. Todd Cohen’s book, The Patient’s Guide to Heart Rhythm Problems, 2010

Updated January 2018; Posted January 2014

Return to Dealing with A-Fib 
Last updated: Sunday, January 6, 2019

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