By DAVID BORAKS
Imagine you fall, or are slowed by a medical incident at home, and have to call for help. Emergency workers arrive and need information quickly. You may not be able to provide it, or may even be unconscious. Davidson public safety officials and the Davidson Committee on Aging are introducing a local Vial of Life program to help.
Vial of Life encourages seniors, the homebound or anyone with medical issues to put important information about their medical history and medications in or on the refrigerator. That’s a place where emergency responders will know to look for life-saving information.
The program was first introduced three decades ago in Michigan and has since spread to at least 35 states.
Davidson police and fire and the Davidson Committee on Aging kicked off the local Vial of Life campaign on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, during a blood drive at Davidson College Presbyterian Church.
Although it began as an actual vial, the Vial of Life doesn’t have to be a container. It can be as simple as a plastic bag or a town-provided plastic sleeve that goes on or in the refrigerator. Residents can use a town-provided bright red sticker near the front door to alert emergency workers to look for the information.
All materials are free, and have been provided by CVS Pharmacy and the Vial of Life Program. Organizers in Davidson say their goal is to have a Vial of Life in the home of seniors and any other person who needs it.
At Monday’s blood drive, Davidson firefighters handed out 34 Vial of Life kits.
Barbara Bryan, of the Davidson Committee on Aging, said the Davidson kits include a red sticker and a magnetized plastic sleeve that will hold medical information (including Do Not Resuscitate forms and others).
“Through the years and in different places and times, the ‘vial’ has morphed from being a genuine tube or vial to something as simple as a plastic bag taped to the refrigerator. Davidson’s Vial of Life model is a magnetized flat, bright red container, holding a form on which medical and contact information is kept,” Ms. Bryan said.
She said it’s important that the information be current and readable.
“That’s why some homebound citizens, most in need of an easily accessible Vial of Life, also need help in (a) correctly and clearly filling out diagnoses, prescriptions and pertinent notations and, equally importantly, (b) ensuring that the information is current, by periodically updating it,” she told DavidsonNews.net.
The Committee on Aging and public safety officials will be contacting churches and community groups offering presentations about the Vial of Life program.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Davidson residents or groups may get more information about Vial of Life or schedule a presentation by contacting the Davidson Committee on Aging at davidsonCOA@gmail.com
More information on the program also is available at VialofLife.com.