Tattoos with a medical twist
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