Tat­toos with a med­i­cal twist

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS -

While Out­liers has never felt the need to get one, tat­toos have long served as fash­ion state­ments. But now, some Amer­i­cans rely on them for a more prac­ti­cal, po­ten­tially life­sav­ing pur­pose: to warn first re­spon­ders about im­por­tant med­i­cal con­di­tions.

Some med­i­cal tat­toos are be­ing used to take the place of bracelets that com­monly list a per­son’s al­ler­gies, chronic dis­eases or even end-of-life wishes.

“Bracelets are nice, but some­thing as strong as a tat­too ... that is a strong state­ment,” says Dr. Ed Fried­lan­der, a Kansas City, Mo., pathol­o­gist who has “No CPR” tat­tooed in the cen­ter of his chest, where a para­medic would see it.

Fried­lan­der, 60, got the tat­too to em­pha­size his decision to forgo CPR if his heart stops.

Med­i­cal tat­toos don’t ap­pear to carry much le­gal weight. It’s un­clear whether an am­bu­lance crew rac­ing to treat a gravely ill pa­tient could

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