Yellow Dot Program Saves Lives
June 3, 2011
A new, low cost, program for saving lives is slowly popping up in counties throughout the United States. Known as the “Yellow Dot Program” this innovative program alerts first responders to a vehicle crash about the driver’s medical information including any medications that the driver may be taking. This information can be critical to a severely injured crash victim during the first “golden hour” of emergency treatment that determines whether a crash victim will survive or not.
The program consists of a simple yellow dot decal fixed to the driver side rear window of a vehicle. The yellow dot notifies emergency personnel that there is a folder in the glove compartment of the vehicle that contains important medical information about the driver. Typically, the folder includes a photo of the driver along with the driver’s address and emergency contact information. The folder also includes information about any health issues the driver may have and a list of medications that the driver may be taking along with the names and contact information for the driver’s doctors.
Knowing that the driver may have health problems, such as a heart condition and the medications a driver may be taking, allows first responders to make important decisions regarding emergency treatment. Knowing in advance that the driver is taking a particular medication that could react adversely with drugs normally given in the emergency room can make the difference between life and death for the patient.
The Yellow Dot Program started in Connecticut and has since spread to eight other states including Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Virginia, Alabama and New York. Each state’s program is essentially the same with slight variations from state to state. Initiated mostly at the county level, the program is catching on quickly and rapidly gaining approval of emergency medical personnel.
If your state or county does not have this Yellow Dot program, you may want to consider contacting your local representatives to see about getting one started. It could save your life.