Allergy Bands

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Nurse Stephen Nurse Stephen 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    We used to have red wrist bands we would write the patient’s allergies on. I always thought it was pretty pointless, because you always had to tell the patient what you were giving them anyway, and you couldn’t guarantee that someone didn’t have any allergies just because they didn’t have a band on, because some nurses, like me, didn’t put them on, or it was removed for some reason … etc.

    Then it was decided that writing allergies on something that was visible to others was a HIPAA (wouldn’t want people to know someone had taken a psych med before and is allergic to it, etc) so now if they have an allergy we put a red band on them that says “allergy.” I really don’t see the point in this. If they don’t have a red band on, you can’t assume they have no allergies, so you still have to inform them of what you are giving them, and even if they do have a red band on, you don’t know from that alone which medicines they are allergic to. Now with computerized order entry and allergies being in ‘the system’ it gives a warning if that medicine is ordered, and their allergies are listed on the order page anyway … so can anyone give me a good reason to put allergy bands on people?

    How about fall risk bands? Have they ever actually prevented a fall?

    The only useful bands I’ve seen are patient name bands, blood bank bands, and DNR bands … but they took our DNR bands away from us too … so we are left with just the mandatory and the worthless.

    Profile photo of Faye

    Application of Allergy bands and Fall Risk bands are a farce. The reasons are given in the entry before mine.

    @jason,” They” are just finding something more for us to do.


    Working in an ICU, everyone gets a yellow “FALLS” tab on their armband. My only puzzled thought is when the patient is transferred and is able to ambulate freely, must the nurse then get a brand new armband without the yellow tab? I have tried to take it off and have failed several times.

    And don’t get me started on the Orange “Dysphagic” and Pink “LIMB ALERT” tabs.


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