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  • 6729808_sGet into serious car accident, it can sometimes be hard to relay pertinent medical history to paramedics, especially if they’re unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate.

But an expanding Alabama program has made it easier for emergency responders in the Yellowhammer State to know if a patient has an allergy or medical condition like diabetes that could impact on-the-spot treatment.

It’s all dependent on a yellow dot sticker that program participants put in their driver’s-side rear window, which signals paramedics that a packet of critical information is located in the glove compartment.

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

That packet includes details about medications, allergies, recent surgeries, health conditions plus emergency contact information and an identifying photo. (Because of information security concerns, the packet does not contain dates of birth, Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers.)

Alabama’s program launched in 2009 and was inspired by a smaller program geared toward older drivers in Shelton, Connecticut. But any driver can participate.

According to Alabama Living magazine: As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday, the state is continuing to promote the program, but there are concerns that some paramedics don’t know what the yellow dots mean:

Since the program began, over 210,000 Yellow Dot packets have been disbursed.

But telephone calls to a few local police and emergency response centers in the area revealed that few knew about it.