08/05/05 — Red Cross Vial of Life

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Red Cross Vial of Life

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on August 5, 2005 1:47 PM

It's that time of year when the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross is encouraging residents to update their Vial of Life information.

And the Red Cross is also urging those who don't participate in the program to take advantage of the free service.

"Things change," said Chuck Waller, Red Cross director. "Medical conditions change. Medications you're taking change. Your primary care physician may have changed."

And that information needs to be changed on the Vial of Life sheet.

Waller explained that the Vial of Life is a sheet of paper containing information such as medical conditions you have, medications you're taking, allergies you may have, your doctor. That sheet of paper is rolled and put into a tube and then placed in the butter compartment of your refrigerator.

A black and white magnet with a red cross and the words "Wayne County Chapter" on it is then placed on the outside of the refrigerator.

"The EMS people know to look for these magnets and vials," Waller said. "If they are called out to attend to you and you are unconscious, they know to look on your refrigerator for that magnet. If there is one, then they look in your butter compartment and they may find that you are diabetic and that you are in a diabetic shock.

"Or they may be getting ready to give you something that you are allergic to and once they see your Vial of Life information, they know not to give you that.

"The Vial of Life helps keep from making a bad situation worse."

Waller stressed that the Vial of Life is a "real simple thing that people can do to protect themselves. That's what Red Cross is about -- teaching people to prepare and respond to emergencies and this is just part of the preparedness."

The Vial of Life is free to everyone. Waller urges people to not only keep one in their refrigerator, but also in their car and at their work.

Anyone wanting a Vial of Life or anyone needing a new sheet for information may call the Red Cross chapter at 735-7201.