Q: Do Gastric Bypass Patients Need to Wear a Medical Alert Bracelet or Tag?
A: It is not necessary to wear a medical alert bracelet, but there are certain things all medical providers must know before giving any treatment to someone who has had gastric bypass surgery. Some gastric bypass patients wear bracelets or ID tags to alert medical providers in case of emergency.
If a gastric bypass patient needs emergency medical treatment there are several things the medical responders should know before rendering any treatment:
Surgery Type and Date
It is important that your emergency responders know that you have altered anatomy. This information can give insight into what is wrong at the time and helps to warn them about administering certain treatment that might be harmful to you. The date of surgery isn’t necessary, but it will give your medical providers further insight into whether the issue at hand has a greater likelihood of being related to your surgery.
Do Not Administer NSAIDS
NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Types of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxin, among many others. NSAIDs are commonly used to treat headaches, muscle soreness from strains or other injuries, arthritis, menstrual pain and mild fevers. After gastric bypass surgery, doctors advise you to stay away from NSAIDs due to the irritation of the pouch and the potential for causing marginal ulcers (which can be very serious).
Do Not Insert Blind NG Tube Without Scope
In the event you need to be intubated, it must be done very carefully and with the guidance of a scope or camera. Blind NG tubes are inserted without a scope in emergency situations, but they can cause serious damage to your small pouch. All emergency medical providers you encounter need to know this right away.
Make sure your friends and relatives know to communicate these things to your medical providers in the event you are unable to communicate for yourself.
Many gastric bypass patients wear medical ID bracelets. I don’t wear one yet, but it’s on my to-do list. I have had 2 emergency medical situations since surgery. I was lucky that I was able to advise the paramedics and ER staff.
Any medical ID bracelet for gastric bypass patients should have the following information (or some variation) as well as information about any other medical condition.*
Gastric ByPass [date]
No Blind NG Tube
No NSAIDS/No Sugars
* ICE is your emergency contact person’s phone number. It stands for “In Case of Emergency.” It is always a good idea to have an ICE entry on your phone so emergency responders can check your phone and quickly identify the right person to contact.
Where to Buy Medical ID Jewelry
Most medical supply retailers will sell medical IDs. They come in all shapes, sizes and prices. There are few with sufficient info preprinted for gastric bypass patients. We need a company who will engrave all the right information.
In doing my research, I like Lauren’s Hope because they have some beautiful pieces for both men and women. They are unique and lovely pieces on their own. If I’m going to wear something every day it needs to look good … except my Fitbit which isn’t particularly beautiful, but it never comes off.