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NJ Responders Could Get Critical On-Scene Health Info At Car Crash Sites

Moving through the legislative process in Trenton is a bill that would establish a “Yellow Dot Program” within the state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). The program would provide first responders with vital health information about drivers who elect to participate, so that the on-scene medical help can better tailor their treatments when the patients are unable to speak or are otherwise unresponsive.

Ambulance (Flickr Photo: Five Furlongs)

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman sponsors the measure. She says, “The first minutes following a life-threatening car accident are crucial, doubly so when the crash involves someone with unique medical needs. Having a standard notification system – a yellow dot – that alerts first responders to critical medical information about the accident victims can spell the difference between life and death.”

Under the legislation, program participants would be given a yellow decal, to be placed on the rear driver side rear window; a health information card that would contain a recent photo of the participant, the participant’s name, emergency contact information, physicians’ names and contact information, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies, medications and any other medically relevant information; a yellow storage envelope, to be placed in the participant’s glove box; and any program instructions.

“Treating victims at the scene of an accident can be difficult because their medical history and medication conflicts are not known to first responders on the scene,” explains Watson Coleman.  “Creating a notification system to alert EMTs and paramedics that the information is available on scene saves valuable time that would otherwise have to be used chasing down a victim’s medical history.”

The bill has been approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee and now heads to Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.

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