People who are seriously hurt in vehicle accidents, or in need of urgent medical attention at home, may be unable to tell first responders essential information about their health history. That lack of communication can sometimes lead to life-threatening medication conflicts.
To reduce the rate of unintended drug errors, which kill more than 7,000 Americans a year, two programs which can help individuals relay up-to-date prescription, allergy and health history information to paramedics and firefighters, are now being introduced in Cranberry.
Yellow Dot. Cranberry’s Public Safety services are working with PennDOT and several other state agencies in a program designed to reduce the time it takes first responders to find critical health information about accident victims and for police to inform the individual’s emergency contacts that they’ve been hurt. The “Yellow Dot” program asks participants to enter vital information into a folder they keep in their glove compartment. Free Yellow Dot kits are available from the Cranberry Township Police Department, the Haine School Road fire station, and the Cranberry EMS base station. Drivers attach the kit’s yellow dot sticker onto their vehicle’s rear window, signaling emergency workers that essential medical information and emergency contact data is inside. Program details are available online at Yellow Dot
Vial of Life. Cranberry Township EMS is participating in a nationwide initiative designed to make paramedics aware of a person’s vital health information when they enter the individual’s home in response to an emergency call. Program participants are given a form to fill out with their essential medical information along with a prescription drug container. They insert the completed form into the container and place it in the refrigerator. An adhesive sticker on the refrigerator door alerts EMS to look for the vial and the data it holds. Participation in the program is free. To obtain forms, stickers and vials, contact Vial of Life and the packet of material will be mailed to you. More information is available online at Vial of Life