An ambulance soars past traffic, sirens screaming and light flashing, the medical technicians race toward the home of a sick or injured person. When they arrive, the patient is unconscious and they have little to go on. Does he have any existing conditions? Is he taking any medication? Does he have allergies?
This frightening scenario is all too common for senior citizens and the EMTs who treat them. That’s why the FILE OF LIFE, a mini medical history posted on the outside of one’s refrigerator, was developed and is being promoted by local Councils on Aging and TRIAD (Lawmen and Seniors Working Together).
The FILE OF LIFE card enables medics to obtain a quick medical history when a patient is unable to offer one. “The card eliminates the risk of a patient, in a frightened state, forgetting to mention something important,” said M. G. Ishler, Director of the Sought Hadley, Mass, Council on Aging.
The card, which is kept in a red plastic pocket labeled FILE OF LIFE, lists the patient name, emergency medical contact, insurance policy, health problems, medications, allergies, recent surgeries, religion and a health care proxy and provides the location of Living Wills. The entire pocket is held with a magnet to the outside of the refrigerator, and a FILE OF LIFE sticker is placed on the front door to notify the fire department, EMTs and law enforcement that there will be a FILE OF LIFE on the refrigerator.
WHAT THE FILE OF LIFE MEANS
BENEFITS TO POLICE OFFICERS-Listing the person(s) to contact when an emergency occurs is of particular value to officers.
BENEFITS TO FIRST RESPONDERS-Instantly know medical history of patient and corrective treatment can begin at once.
BENEFITS TO HOSPITAL EMERGENCY STAFF-On arrival, data is immediately available to medical staff and no wasted time getting information from the patient.
BENEFITS TO EACH INDIVIDUAL-Peace of mind knowing they will have prompt and quality care and assurance that proper persons will be notified quickly.
The FILE OF LIFE pockets and files are now being distributed by the Colorado River Fire Rescue Authority. If you would like a FILE OF LIFE or have any questions concerning the FILE OF LIFE, or any other life safety issues, you may call Maria Piña at 625-3441.