RefrigeratorCard campaign saves lives in emergencies

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
Seton Highland Lakes Registered Nurse Vickie Spaw, manager of the Emergency Department, at the right, and Samantha Valadez, patient registration representative, took a brief moment to promote the RefrigeratorCard campaign. The public is encouraged to take a free card, add critical health information to it and keep it on the fridge in the event first responders and ER workers need to refer to it to assist with emergency care.






By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer
Burnet Bulletin

When an unresponsive patient comes into the emergency room, minutes matter for health care workers.

“It's a guessing game. Is it a problem with their blood pressure? Is it blood thinners?” said Vickie Spaw, Emergency Department manager for Seton Highland Lakes.

Hospital staff have partnered with the Hill Country 100 Club in a campaign to take some of the guess work out of such a critical situation.

The RefrigeratorCard program encourages the public to accept free, bright yellow information cards which include spaces for medications, dosaging and schedule details.

“If they have it on their refrigerator, EMS or the family will bring it to us,” Spaw said. “If a patient is unconscious, it's imperative because we can know what medications they use.”

Hill Country 100 Club officials have printed 10,000 cards which are being placed in the ER, area clinics and pharmacies in Burnet, Llano, Blanco and Lampasas counties.

Former Burnet County Sheriff Joe Pollock serves as the 100 Club chairman. He said he was inspired to rekindle interest in the program, which was used during his tenure more than a decade ago.

“My wife Sandra works for an emergency room. She said she loved the cards because sometimes someone would come into the ER non-responsive and they could use the information,” he said. “She called me and said you're not going to believe this but one of the RefrigeratorCards came in.

“We thought if we could rejuvenate those cards, people could also get to know who were are and what we do,” he added.

The 100 Club – which serves Burnet, Llano, Blanco and Lampasas counties – is a non-profit organization which supports first responders families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty, by providing financial aid and on-going resources and support.

“We really appreciate Seton, our first responders and participating clinics,” Pollock said.

To find out more about the 100 Club, visit

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