Medical abbreviations play a very critical role, especially for the medical ID items such as tags, medical ID alert bracelets and medical ID plaques. All of these medical ID items differ from each other in multiple ways. Some are made differently, some appear differently. 

However, one thing that is common to all of these is- they are crisp and brief. This is where the role of medical ID abbreviations come into play.

While making any medical ID gear, it is important to utilize the given space judiciously so that you can be optimally communicative and share all the vital information as needed.

Purpose of Medical ID Gears and Information it Should Include

Since there is always a high demand of patients in hospitals vis-à-vis the lesser supply of responders, the medical ID gears are made for faster service. The medical responders are trained to look for a medical ID and deliver the required treatment in the effective and efficient manner. In a medical emergency situation, such as sudden unconsciousness or inability to speak or communicate, it is your medical ID which speaks on your behalf.

A medical ID gear comprises of the following pieces of information:

  • Name and address of the patient

    : A medical ID gear comprises of the name of the patient along with the address as this helps in faster recognition for the treatment.
  • Medical condition of the patient

    : This is one of the most crucial information pieces that is present on the medical ID of the patient. This plays a very critical role in helping the emergency responder with the kind of treatment to be given to the patient. Hence, it is important that it is written with utmost care and precision. This should also include what the patient is allergic to.
  • Medications to be given

    : This is the most important aspect of the medical ID and needs to be written with the accuracy. If this goes wrong, there could a huge danger hovering on the patient’s life. Hence, for the right treatment from the doctor/medical responder, it is important that this is taken care of well.

In order to fulfil all the above-mentioned requirements and create the perfect medical ID gear, you need to be well versed with all the abbreviations that are used in the medical world. To help you better with this, we have compiled a list of all such abbreviations that you may have to use. Here follows the list:

Abdomen/abdominal - Abd

Abdominal aortic aneurysm - AAA

Above knee amputation - AKA

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome - AIDS

Acute myocardial infarction- AMI

Adult respiratory distress syndrome - ARDS

Advanced Cardiac Life Support - ACLS

Advanced Life Support- ALS

Allergic to - No

Ampule - amp

Anterior- ant

Arteriosclerotic heart disease - ASHD

As soon as possible - ASAP

Aspirin - ASA

Atrial fibrillation - A-fib

Atrioventricular - AV

Automated external defibrillator- AED

Axillary- ax

Basic life support-BLS

Below knee amputation- BKA

Bicarbonate- HCO3

Bilateral- B/L

Blood pressure- BP

Both ears- AU

Both eyes- OU

By mouth- p.o.

Cancer- CA

Carbon dioxide- CO2

Carbon monoxide- CO

Cardiac catheterization C-cath

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation- CPR

Cardiovascular- CV

Chest x-ray- CXR

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease- COPD

Chronic renal failure- CRF

Congestive heart failure- CHF

Coronary artery bypass graft- CABG

Coronary artery disease- CAD

Decubitus ulcer- decub

Deep vein thrombosis- DVT

Defibrillate / defibrillation - defib

Delirium tremens- DTs

Dextrose 5% in water- D5W

Dextrose 50% in water- D50W

Dextrose stick- d/s or d/stick

Diabetes mellitus- DM

Diabetic ketoacidosis- DKA

Diagnosis- Dx/diag

Discontinue- D/C

Do not resuscitate - DNR

Electrolytes m - meter lytes

Endotracheal - ET

Endotracheal tube- ETT

Epinephrine - Epi

Epinephrine pen- EpiPen

Every- q

Every hour- qh

Fibromyalgia- FMA

Flexion- flex

Foot- ft

Forearm- FA

Foreign body- FB

Four times daily- QID

Fracture- Fx

Gastroesophageal- GE

Gastroesophageal reflux disease- GERD

Gastrointestinal- GI

Gastrostomy tube- G-tube

Genitourinary- GU

Gonococcus- GC

Gynecology- Gyn

Hematocrit- Hct

Hemoglobin- Hgb

Hepatitis B Virus- HBV

history- Hx

High Blood Pressure-HBP

Human Immunodeficiency Virus- HIV

hydrogen peroxide- H202

hypertension- HTN

index finger- IF

inferior- inf

Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus- IDDM

intramuscular- IM

intraosseous - IO

intravenous - IV

iron- Fe

irregular- irreg

irrigation- irrig

jejunostomy tube- J-tube

joint- jt

jugular vein distension- JVD

keep vein open- KVO

large - lg

lateral- lat

left- L

left ear- AS

left eye- OS

left lower lobe - LLL

left lower quadrant- LLQ

left upper lobe - LUL

left upper quadrant- LUQ

left ventricle- LV

left ventricular hypertrophy- LVH

lidocaine - lido

liquid- liq

lumbosacral- LS

magnesium - Mg

Magnetic Resonance Imaging- MRI

maximum- Max

medications- meds

methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus- MRSA

microgram - mcg

milligram- mg

mitral valve prolapsed- MVP

moderate - Mod

morphine sulfate - MS

multiple sclerosis- MS

myocardial infarction- MI

nasal cannula- NC

nasogastric - NG

nitroglycerin- NTG

no known allergies- NKA

no known drug allergies- NKDA

non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitis- NIDDM

normal sinus rhythm- NSR

not applicable- NA

nothing by mouth- npo

nursing home- NH organic brain syndrome- OBS

oxygen- O2

paroxismal supraventricular tachycardia- PSVT

paroxysmal atrial tachycardia- PAT

Penicillin-PCN

peptic ulcer disease - PUD

percent oxygen saturation- SpO2

posterior - post

premature atrial contraction - PAC

premature ventricular contraction- PVC

pulmonary edema - Pulm Ed

regular- reg

respiration- resp

right R

right ear - AD

right eye- OD

right lower lobe- RLL

right lower quadrant- RLQ

right middle lobe- RML

right upper lobe- RUL

right upper quadrant- RUQ

small- sm

sodium- Na

sodium bicarbonate- NAHCO3

spontaneous - spont.

supraventricular tachycardia SVT

tablet - tab

teaspoon - tsp

temporo mandibilar joint- TMJ

tetracycline- TCN

three times a day - tid

to keep open - TKO

tracheal/tracheostomy - trach

treatment - Tx

tuberculosis-- TB

twice daily bid

ultra-high frequency - UHF

upper gastrointestinal- UGI

upper respiratory infection- URI

urinary tract infection- UTI

ventilator- vent

ventricular fibrillation- V-fib

ventricular tachycardia- VT/V tach

very-high frequency - VHF

water - H20

There is no denial to the fact how important medical ID abbreviations are and what role they play in the right treatment of the patient. We hope the list helps you in understanding the right abbreviations. At times, there could be confusion about some common abbreviations. Should such a situation arise, we suggest you double check online or check with an expert.