Paramedics urge people to store vital medical information in case of emergency
PEOPLE are being urged to help paramedics save vital seconds when they are called out to deal with emergencies in homes.
Steve Pratten, of East Midlands Ambulance Service, is encouraging people to pick up a green and white message in a bottle – an item launched by the Grimsby Cleethorpes Lions Club.
The bottles contain two emergency cross stickers and a blank medical form.
The idea is for people to fill out the sheet with their medication details, place it back in the container and store it in the fridge.
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Despite this seeming a bizarre place to keep such an item, Mr Pratten explained: "One of the stickers should be put on the front door and the other on the front of the fridge.
"If that person has an accident at home, which means they become unresponsive to us and there are no family members around at the time, then these signs to a message in a bottle could prove vital.
"Paramedics are trained to look for these stickers in homes, especially in that of an elderly person.
"We can save crucial seconds by finding all we need to know about our patient's health inside this simple tube.
"I am very supportive of this and would encourage anyone who has underlying health conditions or takes regular medication to be aware of such items."
The Grimsby Telegraph has given its full support to these free bottles, which readers can now pick up from our reception in Cleethorpe Road, which is open 9am to 2pm, Monday to Friday.
So far, members of the Lions Club say they have handed out about 20,000 bottles to various organisations and businesses across North East Lincolnshire over the past seven years.
Margaret Pykett, of Grimsby, first heard about the scheme when helping out with the Care Plus Older People's Health and Wellbeing Programme.
The 68-year-old was keen to pick up bottle herself.
She said: "I live on my own and I have various health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which requires me to take daily medication.
"Having a message in a bottle just puts my mind at ease in case I have an accident at home."
Margaret has filled out the medical form but has also added her own items into the bottle.
She said: "I have also included a repeat prescription.
"The form takes minutes to fill out and I am now worry-free if anything happens. I think they are a great idea and I promote them wherever I go."
Steve Wakefield, welfare committee member for the Lions Club, said: "We have been giving out these bottles for a few years now.
"At first there was a slow uptake, but now we have organisations repeating orders for them.
"They are very handy containers and could help save your life in an emergency.
"I have a bottle and it puts my children's mind at ease that all my medication is listed down as they do not know what I take.
"I would urge those who already have one to update their medical forms with any medication changes.
"These bottles are not just limited to the fridge. I know people who store them in their car in case of an accident."
Any organisation wanting a batch of these bottles, should call the Lions secretary, Mike Ramsden, on 01472 752917.