Local News

Durham EMS Program Helping Seniors Store Vital Medical Information

Posted February 8, 2000

— Vital information about your medical history could be a life link in an emergency. But when you need an ambulance, you are thinking about getting help, not about digging up paperwork.

Now, a life-saving solution is as close as the refrigerator.

It takes a little extra effort for Partheoler Grissom to keep track of all her pills. A nurse who cared for her years ago suggested she keep a list of her prescriptions together in one place in the refrigerator, just in case of an emergency.

"She suggested I keep that because I have so many health problems, she said it was best for me to keep it," says Grissom.

But the list was never updated, until recently, when Grissom became a member of the Vial of Life program.

A person's medical history, from prescriptions to allergies, are all inside one bottle. A special magnet lets paramedics know the information is inside the patient's refrigerator.

"If they take medication for arrhythmias, irregular heart beats, if we see that, we can find out, we can immediately start looking for those problems, and we can correct those in the field," says Kevin Underhill of Durham County EMS.

The program is for seniors, or anyone with medical problems. If you would like to sign up, you can call the Durham County EMS at919-470-8647.

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