Help Us Help You: Bethlehem Offers "Vial of Life" Program

VIAL OF LIFE
In a continuing effort to enhance our services and maximize our ability to help you, the City of Bethlehem EMS, through a partnership with the Bethlehem Health Bureau, is providing to the citizens we serve a life saving program called “Vial of Life.”  Completing the Vial of Life information sheet could save your life or that of a family member.  For that reason we trust you will actively participate in this program and help us help you.

 What is the Vial of Life?

 Important medical and patient information is placed on a standardized worksheet then placed in a vial, which is stored in your refrigerator.  This information will assist responding personnel with previous medical history, medications and other related information.

 Why should I participate?

 EMT-Paramedics must gather important information in order to properly treat the patient.  If this information is available immediately upon arrival on the scene, minutes can be saved while treating the patient.  When seconds can mean the difference between life and death, the advantages of participation are obvious.  Sometimes a patient may be unconscious unable to talk with the paramedics, the responders (police, fire, and EMS) can look at the information provided on the sheet and help determine the best possible treatment of the patient.

 Who will have access to this information?

 If you require emergency medical treatment, life saving information will be available to responding personnel.  This includes the City of Bethlehem Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Service (Paramedics).  The information will then be supplied to the nurses and doctors at the treating hospital.  At no time will this information be available to anyone other than personnel involved in the treatment of the patient.  Prior to an emergency, the information is stored only by you.  It is kept safely with you until needed.

 What happens when I am away from home?

 If you would like to carry a second copy on you while traveling, make a photocopy and place in a wallet or purse.  It is important not to take the vial or copy from your home with you.  We are more than happy to provide residents with additional worksheets if needed.

Where will this information be stored?

The worksheets will be placed in a vial, which will then be stored on the top shelf of your refrigerator door.  This location was chosen because it is centrally located and common to all households.

 How will responding personnel know you are participating?

 A magnet placed on the exterior of your refrigerator door stating “Vial of Life” will notify personnel of your participation.

 Tell me how this works

When we are called to your home for a medical emergency police the City of Bethlehem Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Service (Paramedics) will look on your refrigerator door.  Upon seeing the magnet, the members will retrieve the information sheet from the vial in your refrigerator.  The information may be used in the treatment of you or your family members.

 Who should participate?

 It is our goal that all City of Bethlehem citizens, young and old, with a medical history fill out individual worksheets and store them together in a vial.

 How often should I update information?

 It is important to update and maintain current information.  If there is a medication change or any other problems that should be noted, make changes on the form or get a new form.  If you need additional forms please contact the Bethlehem Health Bureau(610) 865-7087.
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