5,000 get ‘message in a bottle’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

OVER 5,000 households in the Tallaght area have been supplied with bottles and forms to fill in with their medical conditions before placing it in the bottle, so that in the event of an emergency paramedics will be able to access the details of the person who they are treating.

The bottles have been handed out by Tallaght Lions, a voluntary organisation that are involved in a number of community initiatives, as part of their Message in a Bottle campaign over the past six years.

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Eileen Roche and Mary Kelly

The bottles are particularly useful for older people in the community, who are provided with blank forms within their bottle which they then fill out with details about any medication that they’re on and where it’s stored, and contact details for their next of kin.

The group decided that the bottles should be stored in the fridge because it is an item that can easily be found in every house, and it is one of the most likely items to survive in the event of a fire.

Mary Kelly from Tallaght Lions told The Echo: “It’s a medical information system, and there’s a form that people fill in with their ID and there are three little stickers, one goes on the backdoor, one goes on the fridge and the other is put near the front door that lets paramedics know that you have a Message in a Bottle.

“If the emergency services come, they’ll know to go to your fridge [for your details].”

Ms Kelly said the initiative is popular, with people enquiring about it at the Tallaght Lions’ stands at the Crumlin Walkinstown Health Fair last week, and at the Tallaght Health Fair in Fettercairn.

Tallaght Lions, which currently has five members, was reformed in 2009 after winding down during the 1990s.

The reformed group has carried out a number of other projects, including the creation and distribution of credit card-sized suicide prevention/mental health cards that contain contact numbers for mental health services within the Tallaght area.

The group also holds a Christmas food appeal every year, to collect food for families in need in the Tallaght area, and they’re also part of  a spectacle recycling scheme which allows people to donate their old glasses so they can be recycled and reused by people in developing countries.

Ms Kelly added: “We provide voluntary services in those particular areas, and we complement a lot of the services that local voluntary groups provide.”

To find out more about the Tallaght Lions, including how to join, you can visit their website at www.tallaghtlions.com

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