Paramedics responding to emergencies often find themselves in the middle of an emotion-filled struggle to get medical information from family members of the patient.
Now, a new system created by the Gilbert Lions Club will allow medical personnel to quickly access information they need to safely treat their patients, and then offer counseling and calming to family members.
“It’s going to save lives,” said Mike Wallen, director of the Gilbert branch of Southwest Ambulance. “We can treat patients more efficiently and quickly and with less stress to the family.”
Often when someone is unconscious or unable to speak, family members do not know or remember all of their medications or conditions, particularly because of the high stress of the situation, he said.
The Gilbert Lions Club has worked with Southwest Ambulance, the Gilbert Fire Department, Banner Gateway Medical Center and the Gilbert Unified School District, to create kits that contain medical identification labels and a bright yellow “personal medical information sheet.”
The sheet contains entries for medical conditions, current medications, allergies and drug reactions, patient wishes and even emergency contacts and insurance information.
The kit — the medical information sheet and a label — is made into a magnet that can be attached prominently on the refrigerator. A matching medical identification label, which paramedics are trained to spot, is placed on the door or on an outside window to alert the workers that detailed medical information is available inside.
The club plans to distribute the kits through Gilbert schools, said Robert Rimer, a past Lions Club president and principal of Greenfield Elementary School. Residents can also contact the club for information or a card or to donate and help the program, by visiting http://gilbertaz.lionwap.org or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Hyland, a Lions Club member, had his company, the International Minute Press of Gilbert, donate printing and other costs.