Why Medical IDs Are Needed More Than Ever in the COVID Era

For emergency medical responders, what’s also true is that the faster they know your underlying conditions in the case of an emergency, the faster they can act to save your life – or the life of your loved ones

In late 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its list of certain underlying medical conditions that are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Currently, more than 20 conditions (including cancer, obesity, asthma, heart disease, smoking, cystic fibrosis, neurological damage, liver disease, and more) are thought to pose a bigger threat, according to the CDC. This is especially true for older adults, but also for some children who have underlying medical issues of their own.

(According to the CDC, the evidence for children, in particular, still remains limited. But with kids, the following conditions could be at more risk, including those with “obesity, medical complexity, severe genetic disorders, severe neurologic disorders, inherited metabolic disorders, sickle cell disease, congenital (since birth) heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, asthma and other chronic lung disease, and immunosuppression due to malignancy or immune-weakening medications.”)

Why Medical IDs Are Needed with the Pathogens in Today’s World

While complete knowledge of the relationship between COVID-19 and many of these underlying conditions is a bit of mystery, what is most certainly true is that medical professionals are learning more and more about the virus every day. For emergency medical responders, what’s also true is that the faster they know your underlying conditions in the case of an emergency, the faster they can act to save your life – or the life of your loved ones – with the appropriate intervention. That’s why having a medical ID is so critical. Should you or the people you care about be at an increased risk for COVID-19, that additional insight provides professionals who scan your ID valuable data to act immediately.

But even as vaccines get distributed and COVID-19 (hopefully) dissipates, the we know the threats of COVID variants and other airborne pathogens that may come in the future are now real. Experts, for instance, have already developed models to predict where the next pandemic virus may come from, especially focused on places where wildlife habit is shrinking fast. And though each virus is unique, many of the same underlying medical conditions that you or your loved ones have now may put you at additional risk. So, stating those upfront on your medical ID becomes even more important.

What Groups Should Carry a Medical ID with Them Due to COVID-19

Here are some of the at-risk groups of individuals who we at eTagz would definitely recommend they get a medical ID:

  1. Older adults (Those 65 and older). About 8 in 10 adult deaths in the United States due to COVID-19 have occurred in those 65 and older. Roughly 95 percent of the deaths were from those 50 and older. So those at an increased age should certainly carry medical IDs with them at all times, even if it’s just to give them or their loved ones a peace of mind.
  • Those with heart disease. According to the CDC, having any of the following heart conditions increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Pulmonary hypertension

Other cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or stroke, may also increase your risk of severe illness.

  • Those with diabetes. Having type 2 diabetes, per the CDC and other data, increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. In addition, having type 1 or gestational diabetes may also make you more vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Those with COPD or other forms of lung disease. According to the CDC, having COPD (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis) is known to increase your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Other chronic lung diseases, such as might also make you more vulnerable.
  • Those with cancer. Right now, it’s not known whether you are at an increased risk if you had a history of cancer, but it’s now gone away. What is known is those currently with cancer have a greater risk of severe illness or death from the virus that causes COVID-19.

See the full list of medical conditions at greater risk of severe illness with COVID-19 on the CDC website.

Entering Data in Your Medical ID: Be as Specific as Possible for COVID Risk, Including Vaccinations

For eTagz medical IDs, we recommend you provide as much detailed information of your underlying conditions as possible. A few tips here:

  • State your (or your loved ones) most critical conditions at the top. For example, if you have cancer, heart disease, or any other severe or life-threatening condition on its own, make sure that’s prominent where individuals can see. On eTagz, we give you a MedWall that you can put in all your information, including your entire medical history.
  • Make sure to put in your vaccinations, especially COVID vaccinations. Let’s say you’ve entered in your vaccination history, including any recent COVID-19 vaccination. Medical professionals that come on the scene may be able to rule out COVID-19, assuming you’ve also put in the date of your vaccination and other details.  
  • Enter in your emergency contacts and any allergies. Knowing, for example, that you have an allergy to penicillin or any other medications can also keep you safer should medical professionals have to administer any immediate care. Your emergency contacts also can be notified automatically whenever your eTagz gets scanned.
  • Include blood type and other pertinent data. In the case of a loss of blood, medical professionals may need to give you a blood transfusion. The core blood types are:
    • Type A has the A antigen
    • Type B has the B antigen
    • Type AB has both the A and B antigen
    • Type O has neither the A nor B antigen

Your blood type matter because, if you need a blood transfusion following an accident, surgery or delivery, you’ll need compatible blood. Blood antigens can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to your body, meaning an incorrect mix of blood can clump dangerously inside your veins.

Conclusion

At eTagz, our goal is to keep you and your loved ones safe. That’s why we recommend one of our medical ID bracelets, Apple Watch sleeves, or holsters, which can speak for you in the case of an emergency. Our medical IDs let professionals know if you’re at greater risk for COVID-19 and can do much more should you not be able to speak for yourself.