The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a letter to medical device manufacturers who provide implanted device identification patient bracelets and wristbands, stating that the color of these bands may potentially cause confusion and possibly lead to inappropriate medical treatment.

Following a recent complaint, the FDA became aware that a purple wristband was found to have a different meaning than the “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) status established by the 2008 American Hospital Association (AHA). The AHA’s color recommendations for patient hospital wristbands include the following:

  • Purple to denote a patient’s DNR status
  • Red to denote a patient’s “Allergy”
  • Yellow to denote that a patient is a “Fall Risk”

At this time, the FDA is not aware of reports of patient harm related to the color of device identification patient bracelets or wristbands. The Agency recommends that purple bracelets or wristbands only be used for DNR status.


Use purple bracelets or wristbands only for Do Not Resuscitate Status – letter to industry. News release. US Food and Drug Administration. Accessed August 17, 2021.