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Friday, April 8, 2011

HOSA Students Prove the Value of a Vial

The Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) of Ben Barber Career Tech Academy (BBCTA) have launched a service project that will allow them to give back to the community while offering a potentially life-saving resource.

The Vial of L.I.F.E. (Lifesaving Information for Emergencies) is a container that stores important medical information, which can be accessed by emergency personnel in the event of a crisis in a person’s home.

Gary Welborn, the Health Science Instructor at BBCTA heard about this project from multiple sources and saw a great opportunity to reach out to the citizens of the Mansfield ISD community.

“If a paramedic needs instant access to a patient’s medical history, the vial is easy to get to,” said Welborn. “It’s also very useful in the event that a patient is unconscious or unable to quickly remember all of the prescriptions they are taking.”

With the help of donations from the Meadows Foundation and Ray’s Pharmacy, the materials for the project were obtained at no cost. A $500 donation from the Meadows Foundation covered printing expenses and Ray’s Pharmacy provided the plastic vials. Students assisted with the graphic design aspects of the project as well as the assembly of the materials.

So, what exactly is inside these vials?

The outside of each plastic vial is marked with a red and white label which reads, “Vial of Life: Look Inside Refrigerator for Complete Medical Information.” There are two additional labels inside the vial; one to be placed on the door of the individual’s home and the other (which is adhered to a magnet) to be mounted on the refrigerator. Most importantly, a medical history sheet is folded inside the vial. Keeping the vial in the fridge allows paramedics to locate it quickly.

The HOSA students will assist with the distribution of the vials, offering them to their parents, grandparents and neighbors. Their goal is to get these vials into the hands of as many people that need them as possible.

“I plan to go around my neighborhood to offer the vials to people and tell them about the program,” said HOSA student Angela Tetteh. “It can really help save a life, so I believe it’s very important.”

How can I get a Vial of L.I.F.E. for myself?

The vials can be picked up from Mrs. Mullins in the front office of BBCTA (1120 W. Debbie Lane). For additional requests, contact Gary Welborn ( or 817.299.1916).

Supplies are limited, so don’t wait!

How can I return the kindness of these students?

While the HOSA students are proud to present this resource to community members at no cost, they hope people will “pay it forward” and keep the chain of kindness going by offering a donation to the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life.” You can donate online or drop off your contribution to the BBCTA bookkeeper.

A donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated. Donations will be accepted through June 10, 2011.