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New program offers car crash victims' vital information to first responders

A growing national program that provides first responders with vital information about car accident victims is spreading across the United States and is particularly useful for older drivers. The program is called Yellow Dot and the program was created to inform emergency personnel of car crash victims' medical information during the first hour after an accident. While the program has not reached Louisiana yet, it may reach our home state in the future.

How does the program work? The Yellow Dot program is free and participants receive a yellow dot and place it on the rear window of their vehicle. The yellow dot sticker signals emergency services workers to check a matching yellow folder in the glove compartment of the vehicle. The yellow folder contains medical information, prescription drug information and a photograph of the driver. The information is meant to provide first responders with crucial medical information within the "golden hour," which is the first 60 minutes after a crash that can mean the difference between life and death.

The Yellow Dot Program is especially helpful for older drivers who have a greater tendency to have medical conditions and therefore a greater likelihood to be on various medications. Though the program may be outdated in the future by automated crash notification systems, the program is still beneficial says the spokesperson for the Governors Highway Safety Association. Under an automated crash notification system important medical information will be automatically available to EMTs.

The Yellow Dot Program is currently available in nine states: Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Alabama, New York and Virginia.

Source: USA Today, "Yellow Dot car program speeds help to crash victims," Larry Copeland, 5/22/11

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