Tyvek plastic wrist bands have a wide variety of uses and may be found across venues from the printed plastic wrist bands for events such as marathons to holographic wristbands at resorts or nightclubs. These wristbands are used to identify people and keep track of admittance during events, but they also have a much more serious use–to help identify patients and their needs in medical facilities. If you haven’t given much thought to Tyvek plastic wrist bands before, here is some information about the different colors found on medical ID wristbands that could be important to keep stored in the back of your mind.
Medical Wristband Colors Are Important
While currently standardized wristband colors are not mandated, over 25 state hospital associations have provided these systems and encouraged their use among hospitals.
At many hospitals, yellow wristbands now indicate that a patient has a fall risk. This color guideline was part of the American Hospital Associations three condition alert system. The purpose is so hospital staff know which patients have a risk of falling down due to muscle weakness in the legs, poor balance or low blood pressure often in elderly patients. This way, nurses can ensure that patients have access to equipment or assistance when needed.
If you see a patient with a red medical ID wristband, it most likely indicates the patient has an allergy. To date, 26 out of 50 states have adopted the use of red medical ID bracelets to signify which patients have allergies. This usage for the color red was also included in the American Hospital Association’s three condition alert system. The red wristband indicates to doctors and nurses to check a patients file before administering any medications to protect against the possibility of preventable allergic reactions.
Currently, purple wristbands are part of the American Hospital Association’s three condition alert system to signal patients who have signed a DNR (do not resuscitate). Because the DNR is a legally binding document, it is important for doctors and nurses to quickly be able to determine if a patient has chosen to forgo CPR in the event that his or her heart stops beating.
Tyvek plastic wrist bands in the color pink signify patients that have restricted extremities in seven states. This wristband is used when an injury or medical procedure has rendered a patient’s arm or leg to be swollen, painful or inured so nurses can be mindful and not apply blood pressure cuffs on that extremity.
Currently, six different states have been using green wristbands to signify patients who have a specific allergy to latex. The reason these patients would not receive a red wristband is because latex gloves are used very heavily in the hospital setting. The green wristband alerts medical professionals that latex gloves should not be used when ministering to the patient.