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Health Matters — Scheme that could save a life — your life

THANIGAIRARSU THIYAGARAJAN
Guest Columnist

Have you heard of a Vial of Life (Lifesaving Information For Emergencies)?
Vial of Life is a program which allows individuals to provide medical information in advance that can be used by emergency personnel in the case of an emergency.

Vial of Life Kits
Each kit includes a vial (empty pill bottle or other container) labeled with a Vial of Life sticker, a Vial of Life Medical Form which has been filled out (with the help of your primary care physician (PCP) for accurate information) stating the medical conditions of the individual and current medications being taken, and Vial of Life sticker.
Once the information is complete, put the information in the vial and place the vial in the refrigerator on top shelf of the door.
Why in the refrigerator? Because it has been shown that the refrigerator’s contents are preserved in the event of a fire.
Place the sticker in the front window of the home so responding emergency personnel will know to look for the Vial.
If you travel, you may also want to place a Vial of Life in your vehicle. This should be kept in the glove compartment and the Vial of Life sticker should be placed on the driver’s side window.
A few things to keep in mind:
The Vial of Life Medical Form could be filled out by the patients with the help of their PCP who could give them the most updated information (both list of medical conditions and current medications) from their medical records.
The Vial of Life Medical Form should be regularly updated with any changes in the listed information.
A copy of the tear off information from a repeat prescription can be attached to the form, but keep it updated.
A copy of the form can also be taken and kept in the person’s wallet or handbag so that they can carry it with them if they go out. Glove box and decal on window
If more than one person in the household could benefit from ‘Bottle in the Fridge’, the forms can be placed into one bottle.
The Vial of Life can save lives and will also save your physician valuable time searching for vital information to treat emergencies in the emergency department.

How do I get a Vial of Life?
To receive a free Vial of Life kit, contact your primary care physician or Ted Mankowski, Deputy Director for Lincoln County EMS at 704-736-9387.

Thanigaiarsu Thiyagarajan, MD, works with Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln.

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