Local program provides vital information to EMS in times of need
Even in today’s digitally connected world, people still suffer medical emergencies that renders them unable to communicate with the emergency responders that are trying to provide life-saving interventions. In those crucial minutes, it is important that the medical responders have the vital information necessary to help those in need.
If the complexity of pre-hospital medicine continues to expand, many of the treatments provided are dependent on a person’s medical history, medications and allergies. Portage County’s Vital Information Program (VIP) was developed to fill in the information gaps trauma can sometimes cause.
VIP is a program developed by Portage County Emergency Medical Services, the Portage County Aging and Disability Resource Center and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
VIP brings to the attention of emergency personnel all of an individual’s important medical information. Volunteers assist participants to complete a medical profile that includes a list of medications being taken, allergies, medical conditions, recent surgeries/hospitalizations, physician’s name and names and phone numbers of emergency contacts (family members or friends).
There is also a personal profile that includes information such as who has been designated to care for a dependent member of the household (child, adult with Alzheimer’s, etc.) if the primary caregiver requires hospitalization; who will care for any pets; does the participant have glasses, a hearing aid or other adaptive aids that should be sent with him or her to the hospital.
This profile can also identify whether the participant has any advanced directives such as a living will or power of attorney for health care. Completed packets are attached to participants’ refrigerator doors where they are readily available should EMS be called into the home.
With the participant’s permission, important details can also be kept on file with the Portage County Communication Center so they can inform EMS crews about them before they arrive on scene.
For more information on the program, to sign up or to potentially volunteer with VIP, contact RSVP at 715-346-1401.