A small bottle that will help save lives

Clonmel Lions Club’s latest project Message in a Bottle was officially launched by Peter Murchan, Consultant Surgeon at the South Tipp General Hospital, at the Town Hall, Clonmel.

Message in a Bottle is an Emergency Information Scheme. It simply directs the emergency services to information stored in a plastic bottle which is kept in the fridge; vulnerable people or those with a medical condition can enter their details on the form inside the bottle. It will include a photograph, health details, emergency contact, doctor, whether there are pets that need looking after and much more information that will assist the emergency services.

Mayor Darren Ryan hosted the event with representatives present from the Lions Club, ambulance service, sponsor MSD, Order of Malta, Red Cross, HSE Home Help, HSE Caredoc, St. Vincent de Paul, the Carers Association, Meals on Wheels, a GP representative and pharmacies.

Fiona Rea, President of Clonmel Lions Club spoke of the importance of communication between the emergency services and the public for this initiative to work. She said “It’s vital that everyone knows about this initiative and understands the benefit of using these bottles”. She thanked MSD for their generous sponsorship.

Darragh Pattwell from MSD said that the company was delighted to be associated with this very worthwhile scheme. The company was committed to assisting projects that benefit the local community and see this as a service that will support the emergency services in their efforts to save lives.

Tom Gahan, ambulance service spoke of the benefits to the emergency services and consequently for the patient in having these bottles in use. The ambulance service and the Gardai have fully embraced the scheme.

Peter Murchan said that he was impressed that such a simple idea could provide such significant benefits for the patient and the medical staff who would be working with them in the case of an emergency. He stated that “this small bottle will save lives” and encouraged anyone who is living alone, is elderly or has underlying health issues to use them.

Sgt. Kieran O’Regan of the Community Gardai has also been involved in setting up the project.

This scheme is free to the user. Clonmel Lions Club provides the bottles. At a minimum they will save the emergency services valuable time identifying the patient and their emergency contacts. By telling whether the patient has special medication or allergies, it is a potential lifesaver and provides peace of mind to users, their friends and families.

The kit consists of a small white and green bottle, three stickers and a standard form. The stickers are placed inside the front and back doors of the house and on the outside of the fridge to alert the emergency services that the person’s details are inside.

Bottles and details are being distributed initially through the Daycare Centres, Meals on Wheels, the Carers Association and O’Reillys Pharmacy in Gladstone Street. On an ongoing basis they will be available from all local pharmacies.

If you require more details Clonmel Lions Club may be contacted at clonmellionsclub89@gmail.com