Vials of Life

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The VIALS of LIFE Speaks For You... When You Can't!

We have extended the Vial Of Life program to include people with Autism, are Medically Fragile or have Special Health Care Needs, and we will still provide vials for people that are living alone or have medical conditions.

We feel with this expansion of the program we can better identify:

  1. Caregiver information
  2. Methods of Communication
  3. Sensory Stimulus
  4. Inclinations for wandering, characteristics, de-escalation techniques, etc
  • Vial-of-Life is a program was adopted by Durham County EMS in the spring of 2002.
  • The purpose is to provide important information readily available to emergency responders in the event of a medical emergency during which a patient is unable to communicate.
  • It contains information that helps paramedics determine if a patient is on medications or has medical conditions as they enter a home and there is no one to answer vital questions on behalf of the patient. This information is vital in an emergency and not always available. There is also information concerning an individual’s physician.Vial Of Life


How Does It Work?

  • Durham County EMS will provide participants with a refrigerator magnet, a vehicle sticker, a medicine bottle labeled Vial of Life, and a patient information form.
  • The form has areas for personal data, past medical history, allergies, advanced directives, current medications, caregiver information, communication methods, sensory stimulus and emergency contact numbers.
  • The Vial of Life bottle is kept inside the refrigerator door or vehicle glove box to be easily located by paramedics.Capture


How Do I Get One?

  • Email us:
  • Call us: 919-560-8285
  • Visit us: Durham County EMS Headquarters                                                                             201 E. Main St.

         6th Floor Durham, NC 27701


Download Our Forms

For people who need an updated form please download the newest form.  We recommend that patients update their personal information every year.

Vial of Life Brochure

Vial Of Life Form

Autism and Special Needs Brochure

Autism and Special Needs Vial Of Life Form


How Much Does It Cost?

The Vial of Life program is a FREE service provided to the public by Durham County EMS and Durham Regional Hospital.

 Durham Regional Hospital


 Autism and Special Needs VOL Placement 



VIAL of LIFE Placement

VOL Directions