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What Are The Most Common Medical Abbreviations?

  
  
  

Every day here at Lauren's Hope, we engrave medical ID jewelry. We engrave medical ID dog tags and medical alert bracelets and medical ID plaques and on and on. Some of them are rotary engraved. Some are laser engraved with blackfill. Some are short and some are long and some are even funny or sweet or inspiring. But all of them have one thing in common: they have to be brief. 

custom-engraved medical alert tagsWhen engraving medical alert jewelry, it's truly important to maximize your use of the space and communicate as much vital information as possible in the limited space available. That's where common abbreviations come into play. The challenge is that some conditions and medications have the same abbreviations (i.e.: Treatment and Transplant are both abbreviated "TX."), so at times, context is important. For example, if you're a transplant recipient wearing a medical ID bracelet to alert first responders of your risk of organ rejection or the fact that you are on immunosuppressants, it would be easy for an EMT to understand that LIVER TX means "transplant," as opposed to "treatment," because of the medications you would list. However, if you simply list, "LIVER TX," an EMT might not know for sure if you are in treatment for a liver condition or have had a liver transplant. 

Fortunately, there are a great many very common medical abbreviations we see here on a daily basis. Our master engravers have compiled a list of the most frequently used abbreviations in the hopes that it helps as you try to maximize the effectiveness of your engraving. You can download it free here

Atrial Fibrillation

A-Fib

Allergy/Allergic To

ALGY

Aortic Valve Replacement

AVR

Aspirin

ASA

Blood Pressure

BP

Cancer

CA

Chronic Kidney Disease

CKD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

CAH

Congestive Heart Failure

CHF

Coronary Artery Disease

CAD

Coronary Heart Disease

CHD

Cystic Fibrosis

CF

Deep Vein Thrombosis

DVT

Defibrillate/Defibrillation

DEFIB

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

DKA

Diabetes Mellitus

DM

Diagnosis or Disease

DX/DIAG

Discontinue

D/C

Do Not Resuscitate

DNR

Epinephrine

EPI

Epinephrine Pen (auto-injector)

EPIPEN

Erythromycin Ethylsuccinate

EES

History

HX

Hypertension

HTN

In Case of Emergency

ICE

Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus

IDDM

Intravenous

IV

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

ITP

Medication(s)/Prescription(s)

MED/MEDS/RX/RXS

Mitral Valve Prolapsed

MVP

Nasogastric

NG

No Known Allergies

NKA

No Known Drug Allergies (used for people who have known non-drug allergies but no known allergies to medications)

NKDA

Penicillin

PCN

Tetracycline

TCN

Tracheal/Tracheotomy

TRACH

Transplant or Treatment

TX (requires context)

Von Willebrand’s Disease

VWD

Once you have replaced those long diagnostic terms and medication names with common abbreviations, you'll have more room to work with, which is great, because every medical ID should have, at a minimum, these four pieces of information:

  1. Your name
  2. Your diagnosis
  3. Any known allergies or the fact that you have none
  4. At least one emergency contact number
Still not sure what to engrave on your medical alert jewelry? Give us a call at 1.800.360.8680! We will gladly help you find the best solution for your needs. We're here in the office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  
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