Some Opt For Medical Tattoos Over Bracelets
Paramedics many times are alerted to a patient's medical history through emergency bracelets, but a new trend is making it more permanent by getting medical tattoos. Our Lauren Kendrick spoke to a local tattoo artist, who says the latest tattoos can possibly save lives.
"There are traditional means of identifying a medical condition that include carrying a card or some sort of jewelry like an identification bracelet." More and more people with serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, are choosing tattoos over the traditional alert bracelet.
"Body art indicating or identifying medical conditions appears to be a trend nationwide, although it's new here to our area." Fire Captain, Eloy Vega, says he's never seen a patient with a medical tattoo, but understands why some might opt for them. "If they have a very active lifestyle the chances of jewelry getting snagged or coming off increase."
We spoke to local tattoo artist, Gabriel Rodriguez, with Lazy Boy Tattoos, who says he has actually done many medical tattoos. "Like the alert bracelets. Same thing. Just get tattooed and it says diabetes type whatever." He also talks about a tattoo done on a client's chest stating 'do not resuscitate'.
And it's not only Rodriguez who has done medical tattoos in Laredo. He shares that a fellow tattoo artist has recently given a permanent reminder to residents with the illness. "Actually I had a friend of mine that was telling us how he had a couple of people that were diabetic that came and got diabetes tattoos, so it's pretty cool."
Fire Captain Vega says if a patient has AIDS or any other communicable disease and becomes unconscious, having a tattoo or any other way to let the paramedics know is very helpful. "That's something that's looked at when conducting an assessment, if it's obvious, of course, and taken into account when providing treatment to the patient."
In addition to looking for a medical bracelet or card, Vega says that paramedics will now be aware of this new trend in medical tattoos. "Although it's not customary to see it, nowadays, we understand that times change, trends change, and with that we need to be ready."