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News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, February 20, 2014
Castine’s “Vial of Life” connects emergency personnel with patient information

by Anne Berleant

Residents will soon have the opportunity to have their medical information ready and waiting for emergency personnel summoned to their home.

“The Vial of Life is a program that allows individuals to have their complete medical information ready…for emergency personnel, such as EMTs, to reference in an emergency situation,” reads the program proposal submitted by six University of Maine nursing students, including Tom Gutow of Castine.

The Castine Fire Department and Castine Fire and Rescue is funding the project.

Castine was chosen after the students first assessed the town for a community health and population project.

“It’s a nice town with a pretty good history and a tight-knit community,” said student Brian Coer.

“I suggested Castine because I lived there,” added Gutow, an EMT who is also a member of Castine Fire and Rescue. “It’s unique compared to other towns.”

The students will distribute pouches containing forms to fill out with medical information in front of the post office on Saturday, February 22, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. They also will answer any questions about the program.

A magnetic strip allows the pouches to adhere to the refrigerator; stickers on the door will alert emergency personnel that a Vial of Life is on the premises.

Pouches will also be available at Castine Community Health Center and town hall.