Time is precious and is especially valuable during a medical emergency. Emergency responders must be ready for anything — at any time — but they often don't have access to important medical information right away.
A Vial of Life kit may provide them with knowledge that saves time — and your life — during a home medical emergency.
What Is a Vial of Life Kit?
The Vial of Life program is recognized nationally by all emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and firefighters, and the kit includes two stickers and an information form. Place one sticker on your front door, so emergency personnel can identify it upon entering your home. Place the second sticker on the front of a small plastic bag that is taped or clipped to your refrigerator for the emergency personnel to find. The bag holds an information form, which provides important personal and medical information, and relevant documents. The information within the kit can help emergency personnel provide appropriate medical treatment during a home emergency.
The Vial of Life form will prompt you to enter basic information, such as height, weight, hair color, eye color and blood type. It will also ask for detailed information about your medical history, including any conditions you are currently being treated for, current medications, known allergies to medication and the date of your last hospitalization.
The kit also requests details like your emergency contact information, native language and medical coverage. If you have a chronic heart condition, include a copy of your most recent electrocardiogram (EKG). Also include any relevant documents, such as a living will or do-not-resuscitate order.
Do You Need a Vial of Life Kit?
A medical emergency may make it difficult to remember pertinent medical facts, think straight — or even speak at all. A Vial of Life kit can speak for you or your loved ones when time is a critical factor.
Do you have a chronic illness — or care for someone with a chronic illness? Do you care for someone who is elderly or disabled? A Vial of Life kit may be especially important for people in these situations.
Let's say you have a chronic heart condition and suffer a stroke at home. You are able to call 911 but cannot speak by the time the EMTs arrive. A Vial of Life kit could provide them with your last EKG and a list of your current medications. It could also give them contact information for a relative or someone who is designated as your emergency contact. The personal and medical information a kit provides could give emergency personnel the information they need to make the best treatment decisions.