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ABCs of medical bracelets

Lengthy medical conditions can eat up space on a medical ID. That's why a list of abbreviations has evolved.

Here are a few of the dozens of standard abbreviations that are used:

ARDS: adult respiratory distress syndrome

BKA: below knee amputation

CXR: chest X-ray

qh: every hour

Hx: history

IDDM: Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

NPO: nothing by mouth

prn: whenever necessary

—William Hagemen

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