Crystal Star
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Crystal Star

Crystal paperweight Star of Life

The Star of Life is the international symbol, found on all civil vehicles for medical first aid. It is a six-point blue cross, containing a rod with a snake wrapped around it, the so-called Aesculapian rod.
This symbol origins from Greek mythology: Asclepias (later the Romans re-named him Aesculapio), son of Apollo, was seen as a saint, for being a distributor of care. Belief has it that while sleeping in the temples dedicated to this god, they dreamed about him and received advise about the right cures for their diseases. Taken by madness and his feeling of absolute power, he is even reported to have bought the dead back to life; the goddess Ade complained about this to Jupiter, who therefore struck him down with one of her arrows. In the year 293 b.C. the Romans started to honour Aesculapio because they needed help against an epidemic.

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Generally he was represented in standing position, dressed in a long cloak, holding a rod with a snake. This is the origin of the symbol contained by the star of life.According to some, both the rod of Aesculapio and the caduceus staff of Hermes with two snakes, derive from an antique method for the extraction of subcutaneous tissue where female parasite worms Dracunculus medinensis were extracted from under the skin and rolled onto a stick. A long and delicate operation, only performed by highly expert medics. Every arm of the cross is dedicated to a determined meaning, which represents the various phases of medical service:
  • detection (emergency call)
  • response (vehicle)
  • reporting (arrival on spot)
  • on-scene care
  • care in transit
  • arrival of final care


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