As a patient, or care-taker of a patient, these are a few steps you can take to be more active in preventing unnecessary, serious injuries do to intravenous and pressure related injuries.

1. Know Your Condition.  Become an expert in your disease.  Its important you know how to be your own advocate.  Work with your medical team to understand how to best protect yourself from injury or harm. If you have a protected upper extremity condition be careful to not traumatize this area. Trauma such as bumping, bruising or cutting can lead to permanent future disability and even death. Similarly, when you or others check your blood pressure, avoid an arm that is prone to injury or where pressure is not advised. If you receive phlebotomy (e.g. blood draws or sticks) or intravenous therapy (e.g. PICC line or IV) or injections (e.g. pricks and shots) assure that these interventions are not taken on an upper extremity that needs to be prevented.  Hence the Save The Arm (TM) saying…“NO PICCS, NO STICKS, NO IV THIS ARM!” IT’S YOUR ARM.  ONLY YOU CAN SAVE THE ARM!

2. Educate Your Healthcare Team. Not everyone on your healthcare team may know about your condition and how to protect you form injury. You are the expert in your body. Inform them about  Save The Arm (TM) and ask them to become involved. Assure those who provide services to you are aware of Save The Arm methodologies and products and that they are used and offered to you each time you are in their facility. Do not assume others know. IT’S YOUR ARM! SAVE THE ARM.

3. Educate Your Friends and Family.  Friends and family can help you when you are not in a situation to help yourself. Educate and empower them to work on your behalf. Assure they are aware that you have a unique condition that requires that they respect your upper extremity with respect to pressure, trauma and invasive procedures.

3. Tell Your Story.  Your story can inspire others and may save a life. Please tell your story on the Save The Arm site.

4. Wear a Safety Device.  Save The Arm safety products are designed to not only educate and inform but to also enhance safety reliability.

  • Save The Arm (TM) Armbands physically block the site from invasive therapies and make it harder for those who may be involved in invasive percutaneous procedures ( e.g. needle sticks, shots, PICC line placement, IV lines,etc.) to use that particular arm for a site of therapy. The Save The Arm logo serves to make it explicit that this side is not to be used for such interventions.
  • Save The Arm (TM) Safety Tape provides a visual cue that this side is not to be used for invasive therapies.
  • Save The Arm (TM)  Safety Stickers can be placed in your medical record to alert staff to your condition.
  • Save The Arm (TM) Tattoos are temporary tattoos with the Save The Arm logo which serves as a visual cue that this side is not to be used for invasive procedures.
5. Speak Up!  You have the right to protect your body. If someone is about to do something which might injure your arm, speak up.
6. Join a Campaign.  Go to Facebook, follow us on Twitter and sponsor a campaign in your health care system or community. Are your physicians office, health care system and hospital all registered and certified sites with Save The Arm (TM) ? If not, tell them about it! Its easy, just send this pre-made message to your phlebotomist, lab, doctor, nurse, hospital CEO or health system safety officer.
7. Remember…. You Are The Most Important Part of the Health Care Team.   You are the first and last point of control for your condition. Safety starts and ends with you. You should expect to be treated as such and seek out care which respects this. Health care is about patients and patients are the biggest part of the team. Empower yourself to become more involved in your care.


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