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Live-Saving Gift Available to Fort Worth Residents on Dec. 6
12/03/2012

FORT WORTH, Texas — Margaret West knows firsthand why the Vial of L.I.F.E. is an important item to keep in your refrigerator.

West and her neighbors try to prepare for medical emergencies by checking on one another daily, sharing important information and keeping copies of house keys. Earlier this year, West and two other neighbors found one of their friends unconscious in her home. They called emergency medical services for help.

“They began to ask questions about her medical condition prior to the collapse, medications she was taking and allergies,” West said. “In that instant we realized that we were not as prepared as we had hoped to be for our friend. We were so frightened for her, and we felt that we let her down when she needed us most.”

After the incident, West sought out information about the Vial of L.I.F.E — a tool that provides first responders like MedStar Emergency Medical Services with critical information such as medical history and current allergies. The Vials of L.I.F.E. are available to the community at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth at no cost. A drive-through distribution will take place at Texas Health Fort Worth, outside the hospital’s Heart Center, from 1 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 6. Volunteers, including Santa Claus, will hand out the free vials to people in cars as they drive by.

Community members are urged to:

  • Fill out their medical information with the help of their physician
  • Place it into a “Vial of L.I.F.E.”
  • Place the vial in the right side of the refrigerator door
  • Put the red sticker provided on the front entryway to their house

First responders are trained to look for the vial in the refrigerator door if they see the red sticker on the front door. First responders then bring the vial with the patient to the emergency room. Once a patient arrives at the hospital, the vial is passed along to the care team. Individuals who bring themselves to the hospital for emergency care should also bring their vial.

West has since become a strong advocate for Vial of L.I.F.E., starting distribution programs at area churches, the local fire department and other community organizations. Her neighbor is doing well and like West has become a strong supporter of the program.

“I want all my neighbors and our community to have these vials,” West said. “Everyone should have them. I don’t ever want to feel like I felt that day, ever again, and I don’t want my neighbors to have to experience that either.”

To learn more about the Vial of L.I.F.E. or to make arrangements to pick up a vial, call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 726-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/FortWorth.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 25 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Huguley Memorial Medical Center, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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