- Sue was in a car wreck and suffered a severe injury to the head.
- Ray went into a diabetic related coma.
- Anne fell and broke her back, experiencing devastating pain.
- Ted suffered electrical shock when working with a power tool.
What these people had in common was that none of them could provide important medical information to emergency responders. No one expects to experience a life-threatening emergency. We wake up, go about our days and expect events to proceed normally, but sometimes the unexpected happens. When it does, The Vial of Life can make a world of difference.
The Vial of Life is a free program designed to give emergency personnel the information they need to care for you in an emergency. The vial in this case, it is an ordinary plastic baggie which contains documents designed to speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself. The vial (or baggie) contains important medical information that can assist emergency personnel in administering the proper medical treatment.
The “vial” can be placed on the refrigerator where emergency medical personnel are trained to look for this information. In addition to the medical information on the form, copies of other information can be included. Copies of your Living Will or DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) would be obvious choices. A copy of your most recent EKG and even a recent photo of yourself could be very useful.
Every person should have a Vial of Life form filled out. Emergencies can happen to any of us. Seniors are at special risk because they are more likely to live alone and their medical conditions and medications can change more frequently. At any age, people in emergencies find it hard to remember the information that emergency personnel needs. The specific information needed will vary depending on the nature of the crisis, but Emergency Responders will routinely need to know the medicines you are taking, any illnesses or medical conditions you have, your normal blood pressure, the language or languages you speak and any extras you have such as hearing aids, glasses, or dentures. For more information, go to www.vialoflife.com.
I give my clients a document emergency card that provides emergency personnel with copies of their medical documents. The Vial of Life is a very useful additional tool and can even include a copy of that card. The form also allows them to know how to contact your family members.
Be safe but also be prepared!