Blood type encoding on vCard

Here’s a question for you medical professionals - and specifically paramedics:

I want to encode my blood type and rhesus in the vCard on my implant, in the NOTE field, in a way that’s fairly obscure/unintrusive for people to whom I give my vCard for the purpose of exchanging phone number and email address, yet at the same time immediately obvious for any first aid responder who might happen to scan it while I’m unconscious (unlikely, but let’s assume).

I’ve been looking around on the internet to try and figure out if there’s a standardized way of encoding that information, but I’ve come up dry. Apparently every medical tag manufacturer encodes it any which way they want. However, while the meaning is kind of obvious on a medical tag, it might not be so obvious in a vCard, mixed with other unrelated bits of information.

So in the end I’ve adopted a variation of the format used on the Canadian armed forces’ dog tag. I’ve encoded “AB/Rh/-” on my implant. If you saw that in the “About this person” field of a cellphone contact coming from an NFC implant, would it be obvious to you? If not, what would be a better way of encoding it?

Sounds like you’d have more chance of being struck by lightning.

A first responder noticing you have an implant or otherwise blindly waving their phone around, when a contact pops up not dismissing it as ‘irrelevant’ since it didn’t immediately pop up medical information, and then scrolling to the notes section to see that.

I know you said unlikely but to assume it works, honestly mate anyone who gets that far is good enough at puzzles that I think they’ll understand any format you put it in.


Maybe a QR code tatooed on your chest would be more obvious to first responders?

Otherwise, I agree with Compgeek

Well, for starters, I’ve never been unconscious and bleeding to such an extent that the information might come in handy. I’ve managed to stay alive for decades without ever needing a dog tag with my blood type on it too. So the issue is rather academic :slight_smile: Still, I have an implant and a few bytes to spare, so why not.

Also, to increase the likelihood that someone finding me unconscious would think of scanning the implant, I plan on experimenting with removable tattoos with an NFC logo. I don’t really plan on getting a real tattoo (too permanent for my taste) but maybe a sticker that needs changing every week or two weeks would be acceptable.

My thinking is, someone performing first-aid on me would very quickly end up checking my pulse. If they do so on my wrist, they have a 50/50 change of using the one with the NFC tattoo on it, and then perhaps scan the implant out of curiosity.

Like I said, not very likely :slight_smile: But not very needed either, so it’s all good.

Well, if I went for a tattoo, I’d write it in plain English :slight_smile: Thing is though, I don’t want a tattoo.

You have a point :wink:

Yeah, if you have storage to spare, why not :wink:

The NFC temporary tatoo idea sounds doable, if a little tedious. I am however interested how many laypeople who would see that see that symbol would even recognize it or even consider that you have an implant, and know how to read it.

Although I would wager the probability that a EMT or first responder would notice or even care about a microchip in your wrist would be quite low.
Where I’m from, EMTs tend to check the pulse of an unconscious person on their carotid (also part of first aid training for lab techs - although they actually recommended us to not bother checking the pulse and just focus on checking the breathing, because it’s apparently really hard to get if you are really excited and don’t have much experience ).
And if they have to check your pulse, they probably have other things to worry about.

Maybe a neck implant? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Sorry if i am a bit of a killjoy

Funny, when I went to my first first aid training, they taught us to avoid the carotid for fear of cutting a possibly weak blood flow to the brain :slight_smile:

Admittedly, it’s been a long time, and things have changed since then. Another thing they taught us was how to do a cardiac massage on the correct half of the sternum. Then when I took a refresher years later, they told us to “just push anywhere there”. Then some more years later, they told us to avoid cardiac massage altogether, because research had shown that it did more harm than good when laypeople did it.

I feel like it probably wouldn’t occur for them to scan it, even if they saw the NFC logo. If you’re in a bad enough state that you’re unconscious, they’re probably gonna be focused on their job. Also because it isn’t standard practice for people to have implants or even scannable health info, I doubt they’d waste their time giving it a go.

Imagine how annoying it would be as an EMT in a time when implants are becoming a common thing… scanning all these folks implants to be taken to a rickroll 9 out of 10 times :sweat_smile:

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Things really do change… they told us to avoid the breaths, and to do the massage.
The reasoning is apparently “doing something is better than doing nothing”

My latest training what was taught was

Check in order
Elements (not to be confused with scene safety)

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I wrote my emergency / medical contact and pgp data to my NExT simply to have something useful yet not too personal there for demo purposes. I have no expectation it will ever be used to save my life.

I use the implant multiple times a day for computer (HF) and building (LF) access. Won’t even consider going back to a non-cyborg existence. :wink:

I’m right there with you @Rosco
I keep racking my head trying to come up with some way for it to work… but even my paramedic friends tell me there’s no way to get people to do anything with it… and even if lightning struck and they did read it… most agreed they would probably not be able to act on it without severely risking their licenses as there is not standard yet

Interesting… That would mean all those blood type tags, belt buckles and carabiners that I saw for sale on the internet are essentially useless. Makes sense in a way: I might have borrowed my brother’s belt after all - in which case, if someone gives me a blood transfusion, I might do a big bad reaction and they might get in trouble for believing what was written on my belt buckle.

On the other hand, I think if I was about to die due to blood loss and someone acted on the information available on any medium, they’d probably get away with it on the basis of the risk/benefit analysis: it would be either do nothing for lack of blood type information and let me die, or do something to the best of their knowledge.

But, reflecting back on what was said here, I think you guys are right: there ain’t a snowball’s chance in hell that someone will scan my chip in an emergency, and “AB/Rh/-” just looks odd and out of place (and too personal) in a vCard the rest of the time when I do use it. So I removed it.

Most likely if they can’t verify with a test, or from records… they would likely just shove whatever the universal donor is in you

To be honest, the vibe I get is even if YOU tell them, they wouldn’t trust you… which makes a lot of sense you you factor in motions at human race all of this stupidity

…records could be an option…
if you had a url linking to “trusted” medical records stating what you wanted, that might work

Which is ignoring all of the “how to get paramedic to check for cybernetic implants”

Hi Rosco

In my opinion, the only format that would clearly stand out as medical information would be “AB+ NKDA”. While AB+ might mean something else, NKDA is very recognizable. (NKDA = No Known Diseases or Allergies, of course you should use this only if it applies to you :wink: )

For the real world appliance…simply no chance, sorry.
Dog tags are not even being considered for their medical information. Much less tattoos. Very much less near invisible implants.
Paramedics have quick-tests to determine blood type and they absolutely shit on any other information :wink:
The only place where things like dog tags are actually checked, is the military.

What does make sense however is an “ICE card” in your wallet. ICE = “In Case of Emergency”. Mostly because there is contact information of your loved ones to find.
An organ donor card is a good idea too. You can even check the box which says “No way you’re getting my organs! Keep your greedy fingers to yourself!” if you don’t plan on donating them :smiley:

Trust me, as a techie I have wished for a system like you want for a long time. But to no avail so far :frowning:

Ah yes, I did wonder if they had a quick test. Now I know :slight_smile:

Surely though, if they encounter someone wearing a dog tag that says “Allergic to XYZ”, “Diabetic” or “Only one lung”, they do take that into account, right? More usefully for those of us who wear magnets, I’m thinking “Magnet implant - No MRI” would be a good idea - although I understand MRIs are not usually performed on an unconscious person. Still, it might be an idea.

Of course, I have that. Although I’ve been told absent any such card, paramedics usually rummage around in your cellphone, provided it’s not passworded.

What idiot wouldn’t want their organs put to good use after their death? Rhetorical question of course, I know exactly why they wouldn’t - and it’s pretty idiotic.

I had one when I lived in opt-in countries. But I’m currently living in an opt-out country, so I eschewed the card for the sake of trying to make my wallet thinner. I carry way too much stuff in it, so I can do with anything that makes it less fat.


Apple has incorporated emergency information into its Health app. Just open the Health app, tap on the “Medical ID” tab, and then tap “Edit.” You can enter medical conditions, notes, allergies and reactions, medications, blood type, whether or not you’re an organ donor, and emergency contacts. Now that information will be available to anyone from the lock screen by tapping “Emergency” and then “Medical ID.”

There are a couple of ways you can add your emergency info to the lock screen

Samsung Devices
To add your medical information, first go to Settings and then tap "Lock screen and security > Info and app shortcuts > Owner information. " You can enter whatever information you’d like to appear on your lock screen, and then choose “Done.”

If you’d like to make it possible for someone to call your emergency contacts from the lock screen, you’ll need to add phone numbers to the “ICE (In Case of Emergency)” Contacts group in the contacts app.

I have worked as a medical first responder (not a paramedic though).

Most of the time when coming across an unconscious patient, finding their personal info is the last priority over their health. I have looked in bags/wallets for some form of identity and usually only look for an ID (Drivers Licence/work badge) or a business card. This is mainly for a name & D.o.B so the paramedics/hospital staff can try and lookup their info.

I have come across an unconscious patient who wore a epilepsy necklace which was a big help. Made handover easier and allowed me to think of seizure procedures.
I have also come across a patient who had a DNR/DNACPR (DO NOT RECUSITATE/DO NOT ATTEMPT CPR) tattoo and card in their wallet. This was found after finding a pluse but no breathing and cutting their shirt to reveal the tattoo.

Finding information on a patient like that is taken in to account but noted on the PRF (Patient Report Form). Usually in the form of “Epilepsy necklace on pt treatment adjusted”. This is to highlight how you know this information and what you’re doing with it. It’s very common when dealing with an intoxicated patient with friends everying is quoted but still acted on. This is to distinguish between things you know first hand and things you are told but can’t immediately verify. Eg. Pt stated “I fell on my leg”, pt reports pain in arm, friend stated “they fell on the head, help them”.

I have conveyed and handed over patients without finding any personal info. My belief is that in hospital, much more can be done in finding their identity and/or testing which would answer doctors questions regardless of info.

To answer the original question, usually “AB- NKA” (NKA=no known allergies) should suffice.
Would I ever consider scanning an implant to get info on an unconscious patient, probably not. It’s not standard practice and the possible minutes spent trying to scan, I could be treating them with what I already know.


Oh… rough… what did you do at that point?


I read somewhere that this presents a bit of a conundrum for paramedics and doctors: on the one hand, if they respect the patient’s wish, they can be sued for letting someone die when they could have prevented it. On the other hand, once the patient has recovered, they can be sued for not respecting the patient’s wishes. Same as jehos who refuse blood transfusions.

Also, there’s another issue: maybe the patient got that tattoo when they didn’t want to be resuscitated and they’ve changed their mind since, but the unfortunate tattoo stayed.