Patients Turn To Tattoos For Medical Alert Information

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s a growing trend in medical alerts showing up in North Texas, replacing bracelets to alert paramedics.

Matt Zavadsky with Fort Worth’s Medstar EMS says medical tattoos are showing up in about one in every 100 patients.

diabetic tattoo Patients Turn To Tattoos For Medical Alert Information

He says people are getting tattoos on their body to alert medics to potentially fatal issues, like diabetes or allergies.  One of the most dramatic tattoos, Zavadsky says, was a Do Not Resuscitate on a patient’s chest.

KRLD’s Chuck Schechner Reports:

He says medical tattoos can be a valuable tool.  One patient had a barcode of their social security number on their ankle.

Zavadsky says for typical medical issues, the tattoos are extremely useful, especially if the patient can’t communicate it to the paramedic.

He does add that the paramedics still require documentation beyond the tattoo.

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  • NiteNurse

    Why not just give everyone insertable microchip like they give pets? It’s going that way anyway. Or just barcode everyone’s neck area.

    • Derek

      Why not just let the “powers that be” have total control over your life or do you want it that way?

      As for me, I’ll pass. They already have too much input on my life.

      Have you ever read “1984”?

    • Derek

      Count me out, NiteNurse. Please read my replies to FedUpTxn.

      No, I’m not hating on either of you. My wife is a nurse, as well. Even though, it may not seem so, most of the time, you are valued and appreciated.

      Just something to think about.

  • FedUpTxn

    You may have a point NiteNurse. It would seem that part of a medical exam should include taking of fingerprints that are put into a shared database of critical information. One quick fingerprint check of an unresponsive patient would bring up any known allergies or conditions such as heart, diabetes, etc. and perhaps even current prescriptions to prevent interaction problems.

    • Derek

      No, thank you. Who’s to say that information would never be used for nefarious purposes?

      Again, count me out.

      It’s one thing to be fingerprinted or DNA-tested as a felon. It’s another if the most heinous crime you’ve ever committed is a speeding ticket.

      • Derek

        Especially, with the current federal administration wishing to, totally, take over our healthcare system.

        Hmm, think about it.

  • Eddie Loven

    So a trend is defined as 1% of people who visit a hospital? What a ridiculous notion. I have been a professional tattoo artist in DFW for over 24 years and have done 1, yup count ’em 1 medic alert tattoo in all that time and it was in the mid 1990s.
    It would be nice to see an article about tattoos or tattoo studios that contained actual information for once or at the very least a photo of an actual “good” tattoo.
    This story is false, misleading and insulting to good tattoo artists.

  • Eddie Loven

    and further more, if you would like to know what is trending in tattoos, why not ask an actual professional tattoo artist and not an ambulance driver? I have an awesome article about breast cancer, I interviewed a garbage truck driver and he said that breast cancer doesn’t exist since less than 1% of the trash he picks up is cancer related.
    This article is ridiculous and has zero credibility. Another great waste of time, thanks CBS DFW.

    • Derek

      LMAO! Valid point, Eddie.

      However, it made you think and reply, did it not?

  • Derek

    Very cool story. Personally, I am “painted”. Not profusely or within plain sight, as I am a member of the “corporate” world, and such things would be frowned upon.

    Being said, the kind of tattoos described in this story would be the most personal, possible.

  • Steve

    Eddie, the very fact that you think EMS professionals are nothing more than “ambulance drivers” shows your ignorance on what they do daily. Paramedics have the same 2 year education as nurses.

    You talk about how this article is “insulting to good tattoo artists”, yet you insult medical professionals. I don’t see how it’s insulting to tattoo artists, but your insult to EMS providers is quite evident.

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