Life­sav­ing spots could save lives on our roads

Mansfield Courier - - OPINIONS/PEOPLE -

A NEW pa­tient in­for­ma­tion pro­gram de­signed to im­prove emer­gency care for people in­volved in car crashes or suf­fer­ing se­ri­ous ill­ness at home has been re­leased in Aus­tralia.

Emer­gency ID Spots, which are en­dorsed by the West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter Ser­vice, are placed on a ve­hi­cle’s rear win­dow or the front door of a house to alert po­lice, paramedics and other first re­spon­ders that a pa­tient’s crit­i­cal health in­for­ma­tion can be found in­side, ei­ther in the glove box, on the sun vi­sor or on the fridge.

The in­for­ma­tion, such as al­ler­gies, pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions, pre­vi­ous surg­eries, pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions and other vi­tal in­for­ma­tion can en­sure the best emer­gency treat­ment is ad­min­is­tered dur­ing the ‘golden hour’ – the first 60 min­utes or so af­ter a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent or acute health event which can of­ten mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death.

By in­clud­ing a pho­to­graph, emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel can check who the in­for­ma­tion re­lates to, while the in­clu­sion of a list of emer­gency con­tacts and next of kin de­tails mean your loved ones can be in­formed im­me­di­ately.

Founder and di­rec­tor of Emer­gency ID Aus­tralia, Ni­cole Gra­ham, said as a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer she had come across count­less people who were un­con­scious, dis­ori­ented or in so much pain they were not able to pass on crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion to car­ers.

“Three mil­lion driv­ers re­ported be­ing in a car ac­ci­dent, and even in less se­ri­ous crashes people of­ten go into shock, which means they find it hard to re­mem­ber im­por­tant de­tails or com­mu­ni­cate clearly,” Ms Gra­ham said.

Ms Gra­ham said she ex­pected the Emer­gency ID Spots would be par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar with se­niors, trav­ellers and grey no­mads.

“As people get older they are more likely to have mul­ti­ple med­i­cal con­di­tions, take med­i­ca­tion rou­tinely, and be more vul­ner­a­ble to crit­i­cal in­jury in an ac­ci­dent, or likely to suf­fer a se­ri­ous med­i­cal prob­lem at home,” Ms Gra­ham said.

“The spots are also ex­pected to prove valu­able for trans­port and truck­ing com­pa­nies and other pro­fes­sional driv­ers.

“They also pro­vide peace of mind for fam­i­lies who need to know their chil­dren will re­ceive proper care if the par­ents are un­able to pass on life sav­ing in­for­ma­tion.”

Gen­eral man­ager of the West­pac Emer­gency Op­er­a­tions, Richard Jones, said his or­gan­i­sa­tion had thrown its sup­port be­hind this ini­tia­tive.

“Armed with im­me­di­ate in­for­ma­tion about a pa­tient’s al­ler­gies, med­i­ca­tions and con­di­tions, emer­gency ser­vices can pro­vide the very best med­i­cal care on the spot,” Mr Jones said.

“This sim­ple sticker will cer­tainly help save lives.”

A YouTube video show­ing the ben­e­fits of the pro­gram has been re­leased at com/watch?v=RdD78o29DO­k.

SPOTS TO SAVE: Life­sav­ing spots on the rear win­dow of your car could one day save your life.

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